The Folding Arduino Lab

by jasonwelsh, published

The Folding Arduino Lab by jasonwelsh Oct 23, 2012

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This thing is one of the coolest things I've come up with. Holds an arduino with breadboard. Has 2 drawers that you can store resistors / caps etc etc.

When the breadboard and drawer are gone, arduino with shield can be stored. Lid protects whatever you have already setup on the proto-board.

I use a m3 allen wrench to hold it together when traveling around with it. Optional PLA "Spike" (See version 2 video on how to make a PLA spike)

There are now two versions

Version 1


Version 2


You can also use Gift Cards as the lids to the drawers for those people that would like to add that personal touch to a gift idea.

Video uploading (stay tuned)


Give credit to http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:27759

for the arduino bumper!

Want one but don't have a printer?


Available in the following Color Combos.

On Fire= Red, Yellow, Orange

Joker Special= Purple, Neon Green, Neon Red

Industrial= Silver, Teal, Neon Green

Halloween Platter= Orange, Black, Neon Green

Are you a business that sells Arduino? Wholesale options available contact [email protected] for details.

(Version 2 only)


Version 1

6- M3 x 35mm Socket head screws) Or use PLA 3mm

1 long 2.5mm allen wrench Or use PLA 3mm

Print 2 drawers!

Add some super glue to the outer form on the arduino side to glue the arduino holder to the drawer outer.

Now when you pull out the M2.5 allen the drawer stays put!

See Pic 3

Version 2

Print 2 Drawers

Print 2 Covers

Use PLA or 6- m3 x 35mm for hinges

Assemble to match pictures.

Side note:

Training Daughter in the fine arts of inventing, Pictures added for the sharing in her adventures.

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That's exceedingly cool!

what brand or where I can get some of these lime green filament

Can I use 1.75mm PLA for the spikes? Will they fit?

Standard 1/2 breadboard fits great

Recently got a Arduino UNO R3 & decided to print out the version 2 case for it, hopefully it fits properly. So far Ive printed out the base for it and the holes appear to line up correctly. Can anyone tell me if the breadboard holder needs a certain breadboard or are all half breadboards capable of fitting? Also what size/type screws are needed to mount the arduino?

I have this question as well : What size screw are recommended to mount the arduino?

Anyone get this to print on an M3D without shifting?

Thanks for sharing this nice design Jason!

A big big "Thanks" to you, I've printed a version2. Really useful and more luxury than any else existing products!
I have one suggestion: Is it possible to add more round feature on bottom corners ? So that the box can be more comfortable to handle. I have been but by rectangular corners... and have to polish them away
Thanks Jason!


Weird that many people downloaded and built these without it.. They must have salvaged it from the blender file.

I would print version 3 it is a lot more versatile to shields.

Thanks Jason, the update is much appreciated. I looked at the blender file but couldn't seem to salvage it, but then I am new to 3D printing - I am only just getting to grips with Tinkercad. I have built 2 printers both very different in design but give fair results. Version 1 works fine for me at the moment as I don't travel with shields but that may change in time. All the designs look really good. Well done and thank you for the projects,

Try using the same drawer...Does it fit?

No, because the Arduino drawer has it's mounting lugs in the wrong place. It is the same size but the they are at each end whereas the Breadboard drawer mounts are nearer the middle so that they are on the inside of the side hinge mounts. I have printed another Arduino drawer and I thought about filing off the lugs so that it is flush and then gluing it to the back of the breadboard mount. However, if you have the STL file that would be better thanks. On the photo in thingiverse you show one with lime green drawer holders and the 2 parts, whilst the same size have their mounts in different places.

ps.. in the version 2 zip there are 2 distinct stl files for this part. It is not the drawer itself but the drawer holder and the Arduino and Breadboards are different. In the version 2 the relevant file is called "Breadboard bread_sidedrawer_holder" so it is the equivalent of that which is missing from the first version.

By now you probably figured out the drawer is the drawer

In the second version the file is called "Breadboard bread_sidedrawer_holder" and is the drawer housing that sits under the breadboard. This file seems to be missing from the first version zip.

Hi, this is magic and I have started to make the first version. However, the breadboard drawerholder file seems to be missing from the zip. Any chance that could be included please?

I just got the breadboard to finish this build off yesterday .... I love this thing

I was thinking a nice addition would be a drawer that is really a battery holder so it can be self contained and self powered

Neat trick with the PLA - must try it, though I only print in 1.75mm, I'm sure it will be useful somewhere else.

Dude thanks this is going to help keep that mess on my desk nice and tight thank you.

RE: bread side drawer holder
It breaks on my maker bot at 94% everytime. I've tried it twice. I've switched to the book 2.0 so that I may make the tank.
Has anyone else had an issue with bread side drawer holder?

yes but this design is much better
And this one if you get into
robotics this case has updates that turn it from a case into a tank ;)

Arduino Mobile Lab 3.0
Arduino Book Case for UNO / Net / Leonardo / Mega and DUE

Does this work for the Arduino UNO R3?

You sir, are a genious.

Great design. I was wondering what the size was for the nuts and bolts that hold the Arduino in ? Thank you

I decided to print the version 1 model and have run into a problem. It looks like the breadboard_drawer.stl file is missing from the zip. Any chance you can upload this piece? Good print and almost done!

I printed this in PLA and I got 2 flaws in it. First the cover for the drawers are too big to slide in the drawers and second the slot made to hook the Hex wrench to is too tight. Not sure if anyone else got the same problem

Thanks Jason for a really useful design.
I started using it straight as it came off the printer.

Saw the wallet awhile ago, I cant say it didn't inspire the idea of the new design but the model for the drawers is not derived from the wallet.  The poly structure is different and was freshly modeled in blender. 

You do have a cool wallet.

I ended up printing your wallet and sticking my http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:30273http://www.thingiverse.com/thi... on it as a lid. It ended up being a really cool marriage.


Credit Card Size Pocket Engineer

Did you base your drawer design on my Eulidit Wallet? http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:25354http://www.thingiverse.com/thi... It looks very similar and seems to work the same. Very cool.

Eulidit Wallet

 fixed and repackaged

Not sure why those vertices were running, but I straightened them out.


Is the v2 Arduino Holder.stl supposed to have one end / corner that sticks out more at an angle? It is like the "box" is not square on the top and causes one side to be longer than the other. I though maybe my printer was skipping and shifted over but all other parts are aligned. I looked at the stl in Pleasant3D and can see it there also.

You'll find a new video above that describes version 2 which is now fully released and ready to print.   I worked out a new drawer system for those people have have higher levels of OCD.  M3 screws are now optional on both units, I now use a "PLA spikes" instead. (see version 2 video for a fast way to make them.

Version 2 is about 10mm wider so you might want to weight your options.  Both function..

Gift cards also work as lids for version 2 for those people that are looking for a very nerdy gift for somebody they love.

Waiting to get my Arduino DUE for the next project...

Want to thank everyone that ordered from my store.   It was a last minute idea that did pan out well.    Anyone that ordered from me in the past, email me and I will give you a coupon code for a version 2 at 50%. ;)

http://[email protected]


A zip file of the project (including a readme of the instructions) would be really nice!

I totally cleaned up the hinges on this to make it 10x stronger.  No hole augmentation is needed at all now and this should print on the worst printer and still turn out ok.  Had a few orders for this at work so it needed to be done.  So if you printed one of these in the past I would say revisit it for even better results.

Amazing experiment set !!!

this is cool,  But I think it would be better if the hinges were not bolts but instead were peices of actual filament.  the filament has plenty of shear strenghth, especially if you made the dog ears smaller and alternated them more.  

I would make it taller too, so you can have bigger draws, and more draws, and also hold a shield and the breadboard.  It could easily be twice its current height and still be awesome.

good job


see colors help ;)
Thanks everyone I hope you enjoy the Arduino thneed.
 Anytime I put my colored one on my desk I have 12 students ask me "what is it".   Hopefully 6 will google it secretly when they get home.  And 2 will ask their parents for a micro-controller and start playing. Remember immersion happens at all levels, you can't save them all but you can influence a few.

Use the Thneed well

Wow, very cool design. I could see me playing with this on the airplane -:) Really nice work Jason.

Updated to silly colors to create the lure of hipster-ness needed for such things.  But much like the thneed I think its a little late.

Next time add printed cocktail fork on top with color = win;)

I totally agree with bottleworks.  This needs to be featured!!!
Great work Jason.  This is something I didn't realized I needed!!!

Now I just need my Rep2 to arrive!  

This needs to be featured!  Nice work

Excellent work, good sir!

Was designed in blender.   Born from pure open source ;) 

Blender file included

 A really fine piece of work Jason, nicely done. When I get some time I'd like to add some divider in the drawers just to give them a little more flexibility. Thinking about what can be done to the outside such that it can hold some additional items - what items I'm not sure - yet. Thanks for posting and taking all the time required to make it easily usable!

These are great!  What did you design them in?