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PAPERduino’s design

This is a fully functional version of the Arduino. We eliminated the PCB and use paper and cardboard as support and the result is.. the PAPERduino :D

This is the the first version of the layout design, next we will try more designs, and another materials. You just need to print the top and the bottom layout, and glue them to any kind of support you want. We hope that you start making your own boards. If you do, please share your photos with us, we would love to see them  ;)

There is no USB direct connection, so to program the paperduino you will need some kind of FTDI cable or adapter. One of this products will be fine:
FTDI cable from Adafruit Industries
FTDI adapter from Sparkfun

Download PDF

Components list:
1 x 7805 Voltage regulator
2 x LEDs (different colors)
2 x 560 Ohm resistors (between 220oHm and 1K)
1 x 10k Ohm resistor
2 x 100 uF capacitors
1x 16 MHz clock crystal
2 x 22 pF capacitors
1 x 0.01 uF capacitor
1 x button
1 x Atmel ATMega168
1 x socket 28 pin
Female and Male headers

Use a needle to puncture the holes for your components.

Don’t rush, place one component after another and do all the solder work carefully.

Follow the connection lines.

And this should be the final look of your paperduino connections.

PAPERduino for ALL…… (with 2 stars)

and more..


{ 19 } Comments

  1. Michaelc | May 11, 2009 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    I wonder if you could get the paper printed with conductive ink so the paper is the wiring? I suppose you would need a conductive glue to make the connection between the components and the traces.

  2. GUI | May 11, 2009 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    Yes, if you know where to find an inkjet printer that prints with conductive ink please tell us ;)

  3. fragMasterFlash | May 11, 2009 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    It would be interesting to print this directly onto a gluebacked copper sheet and try etching the circuit traces. Anyone with an inkjet/laser printer they don’t care too much about should give this a try using copper and etch acid from Frys, Radio Shack, etc.

  4. mjs2324 | May 11, 2009 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    this is cool as hell, do you think it could be done on plexglas with out burn marks?

  5. Joseph Oswald | May 11, 2009 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    As long as you are using color printing, you should print “hints” for the resistor color codes on the design, making it easier to match up the resistors to the proper place.

  6. Roht | May 12, 2009 at 1:50 am | Permalink

    Cool design. Static charge build up, especially thru heat, on the paper should really taken into the consideration with proper grounding.

  7. Robot Overlord | May 12, 2009 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    Great idea man! This is an excellent way for newbies to start building their own arduino board!

  8. Pedro | June 2, 2009 at 11:49 am | Permalink


    I’m quite new to arduino so I have a perhapes basic question. Once assembled this project on paper, I can use the mentioned
    FTDI cable from Adafruit Industries or FTDI adapter from Sparkfun to burn the arduino firmware on to the microcontroler? Could you give some references how to do it? By the way, cool project.

  9. GUI | June 2, 2009 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    It’s just like you said, just remember one important thing, if you solder the 5v (red) to the paperduino circuit disconnect the battery before connecting the FTDI cable otherwise BUM!!! If you don’t solder the 5v you are ok to connect the FTDI cable all the time.
    Good luck ;-)

  10. Mixer | December 1, 2009 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    I would like to see pictures with all of the connections made, in these photos I don’t see the installed female headers and connections to them. It also appears that there are other wire connections that are shown but not made in the “finished” picture of the bottom of the paperduino.

  11. computer_freak_8 | March 3, 2010 at 12:21 am | Permalink

    (In response to the second comment,

    I know this was essentially sarcasm, but you got me thinking… Seriously, though; conductive ink exists, and you could print this project “normally”, and then just “trace” the lines with a conductive pen.

    This led to another thought: just make a “connect-the-dots” version, so that it would be more obvious where you did/didn’t get enough conductivity established (it might be easier to distinguish the pen’s lines from the printer’s lines). Then I realized that it would make it harder to figure out which dots go to the other dots…

    So, you could make it smaller, so it would be obvious, like the “connect-the-dot and overclock” thing with certain processors allowed at one point in time. Then it hit me:

    If you used carbon paper, would that work? If not, could you do something like PCB etching, but in reverse? As in, use way too much ink, print on photo paper, and then immediately dust some sort of conductive powder (iron, aluminum, et cetera) on it?

    There are some more dangerous methods I thought of, but I think this post is too long as it is. Either way, awesome project/idea you put to use, this is one of the first bookmarks I added about cheap(er) DIY Freduino(s).

    Oh, and by the way, Thank You!!!

  12. Iñigo Zuluaga | July 12, 2010 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    3 new Paperduinos:

  13. Fastmídia | August 28, 2011 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

    I really enjoyed your site and post. Congratulations

  14. JP | October 9, 2011 at 3:33 am | Permalink

    Thanks. I built my paperduino today and I love it. It’s a little floppy. I just used photopaper and glued the top and bottom pieces together before assembling. I’m going to hot glue the whole thing to a rectangular frame of popsicle (craft) sticks to give it more support and to serve as standoffs for the connections on the back.
    I found the connections a bit tedious on the back with no solder pads to pull in the solder, but I got it done. Anyone got tips for making those connections easier to do? I love the idea and the layout. It frees up a solderless breadboard I’d been using for a breadboarded ‘328 so I can use it for other stuff, and it just plain looks cool.

  15. GUI | October 9, 2011 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Hello JP! Thank you for letting me know your opinion, I am gathering opinion’s and will try to build another version of Paperduino very soon.
    I wonder if you could post some fotos of your board :)

  16. Vincenzo | October 7, 2012 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    I LOVE YOU!!!

  17. LadaZ | December 2, 2012 at 5:29 am | Permalink

    my english is horrible, but…
    Im newbie in “arduino domain”. In my country one e-shop sell standalone processor from Arduino Uno (Atmega328P-PU) with preinstalled bootloader for an interesting price. Id like to make Paperduino. You use in your Paperduino Atmega168. My questoin is: Can I use Atmega328P-PU instead your Atmega168 in Paperduino circuit? Are this uPs fully compattible?
    Please reply to my mail.
    Thank you.

  18. bilal | May 7, 2014 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    My questoin is: Can I use Atmega168 P-PU instead your Atmega328 in Paperduino circuit? Are this uPs fully compattible?
    Please reply to my mail.
    Thank you.

  19. guibot | May 7, 2014 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Hi yes, the Atmega168 is fully compatible, you will need to flash the Arduino Bootloader though.
    Good Luck ;)

{ 40 } Trackbacks

  1. […] on the 05 May under the mantra DIY Creativity. This is their first and uber-cool project, the Paperduino, designed by Guilherme Martins in collaboration with the people at AltLab. Build on top of […]

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  12. | November 9, 2009 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    PAPERduino – papierowe arduino…

    Nie masz jeszcze Arduino? Chcesz rozpocz?? przygod? z elektronik?, ale nie chcesz inwestowa? zbyt wielu pieni?dzy na start? Twoje problemy rozwi??e PAPERduino.
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