This is a really simple project you can conduct in your own house with basic household materials. In this project, you will make your own physical fingerprint out of liquid glue which you can then use to examine for yourself or to attempt to unlock fingerprint scanners you have in your house (with a high chance of failure for most modern phones). You can check out this article I wrote and this video I made, where I not only explain the project but touch a bit on the history and characteristics of a fingerprint, so without further ado, let's go!
What are fingerprints?
Here is a summary of what fingerprints and fingerprint recognition are:
- Fingerprints consist of raised portions of your skin called friction ridges, which are characterized into patterns called arches, loops, and whorls. These complex patterns can be deeper characterized by the minutiae (more on this later below).
- No two fingerprints are identical, not even twins have the same fingerprint. Fingerprints also don't change with age, although they can be altered due to unnatural causes like burns.
- Fingerprint recognition works by comparing a taken image of your print to a stored image of your print. If the prints match, you are granted access and if they do not, you are denied access.
- There are three main ways to create a fingerprint: Making a mold (what we are doing), obtaining a scanned image online, or photographing a print on a glass surface.
In this project, we will be replicating your fingerprint out of a glue-based mold with these simple materials. The reason we use liquid glue as a material is because of its smooth elastic properties that are similar to the plastics we use for 3D printing, making it a cost-efficient material.
- Source of heat (Lighter or candle is preferred)
- Glue sticks (No glue gun needed)
- Elmers liquid glue
- Piece of cardboard
- Step 1: The heat source was prepared.
- Step 2: The tip of the glue stick was slightly melted over the heat source and turned into a viscous liquid.
- Step 3: The melted end of the glue stick was dabbed onto the cardboard, forming a blob of mendable glue.