Bamboo Prototyping Board

I like to do a lot of my electronics & Arduino work on a laptop, either on the dining room table or spread out on the living room floor. Between the Arduino, the breadboard, and who-knows-how-many components, it’s a hassle to get all the pieces moved when project time is over.

I’ve seen acrylic plates for mounting a half-sized breadboard and an Arduino (here’s one at Adafruit & here’s one at Sparkfun), but they don’t appeal to me. First, I prefer using a full-size breadboard, and second, I don’t like the look of  the acrylic. Time to make my own.

It’s laser cut from two pieces of bamboo plywood, sized to the P1 (smallest available) sheet at Ponoko. The thin sheet is the base, and the thick piece glued to the top holds the Arduino and a breadboard. A cut-out on the thick piece creates a tray for holding components.  I had room, so I engraved a resistor color code guide for handy reference*.

If you want to make it yourself, you can add it directly to your Ponoko account from my showroom, or you can download the zipped EPS files here. The file “protoboard_3plybamboo_p1.eps” is the top piece and should be made with 3-ply amber bamboo, and “protoboard_blondebamboo_p1.eps” is the bottom piece made with single-ply blonde bamboo. The total cost was around $15 + shipping.

A stack of plastic washers on each bolt acts as a standoff to raise the Arduino off the wood, but this isn’t strictly necessary. On the back, the nuts are recessed. If you make your own, be sure that the bolt holes in the top sheet are centered in the nut holes on the bottom when you glue the two pieces together. Rubber feet in the corners keep it from sliding around.

I sanded the charred edges off the outside, but left them on the inside (because I’m lazy and the belt sander couldn’t reach), and protected it all with a few coats of polyurethane.

*In my haste to get this made, I forgot to include the GOLD and SILVER on the resistor chart when I exported and uploaded. Whoops. I’ve re-done the file now to include those, and also to express the multiplier values in what I think is an easier to read format: xxK and x.xM, for example, instead of x1,000 and x100,000. This is what it looks like on the files linked/attached:

update 4/16/2013: reader Matt made another variation that you can download on Thingiverse. Very cool!

7 Comments on "Bamboo Prototyping Board"

  1. Steve says:

    This is pretty rad, I love the recessed parts tray. I was thinking the next iteration, if there is one, maybe this would actually be the top to box that has compartments for other parts. I am much to lazy to try it but I thought I would say that it was awesome nonetheless.

  2. anon says:

    The “Sparkfun” board link goes to adafruit. Did you maybe mean this sparkfun board?

  3. Siobhan says:

    This is such a great idea! Thank you!

  4. Matt says:

    great board. I’d like to modify it and use as a base for an arduino mood light. If that is alright how would you like me to give you credit?

    • Nathan says:

      Feel free to modify it as you like. I’m not too picky about credit or attribution in this case. If you put something online it’d be nice to get a link back to this site/post, or just email me (nathan@ this site’s URL) a picture of what you made; what’s most important to me is seeing what people have done with these ideas/projects.

  5. Matt says:

    I shrunk it down and added notches to attach sides. Thanks again

Got something to say? Go for it!