Arduboy replacement face/back plate

I posted about “Arduboy replacement face plate” in the “Japanese” category on 4/7/2018.
And after I posted it to the community, people who saw it gave me advice and suggestions about the back-plate and the battery.
Also, I noticed that it would be convenient if Arduino-ISP I/F was equipped in a location that was accessible as a result of reading other categories of the community.

In this way, “Arduboy replacement face plate” has been updated for several points.
Currently it is named “Arduboy replacement face/back plate”
You can download CAD files from thingiverse. If you find something to improve, (if you like,) please edit it.

The content of that thing is the following
1). replacement face-plate.
2). replacement back-plate & battery upgrade.
3). back-plate with large batt. and Arduino-ISP(SPI) I/F.
To continue the topic about that thing, I thought that “Development” is a more suitable category.
And I am writing this post.

-About the topics I referred to…
Several attempts to produce Arduboy’s case with 3D printers etc. seem to be tried.
As a recent example, I referred to this topic.
Arduboy Front Cover Model (And back cover possibly?)
Thank you, it was very interesting.

Regarding Arduino-ISP, I referred to this topic.
Bring your Arduboy back from the dead (burn bootloader)
It is very helpful. Thank you,

The future task…
-About signal lines other than SPI. Whether that connector should be equipped.
(I hope it will be easy to realize, but the location of wiring and connectors should be a problem.)
-Whether there is a part to be corrected on the face / back plate
(Especially whether there is a problem in the durability of the parts around the buttons.)
-Whether there is a need to improve the method of fixing the back plate
(There may be more suitable items than M2 5mm tapping screw)

[to be continued]


1). replacement face-plate.
This is replacement face plate for Arduboy, and uses Arduboy metal backplate as it is.
It will be assembled using the 4 pcs. of screws of arduboy as it is


-CAD file;
case113.stp (case_113.123dx)
-STL file;
case113_frt.stl --> face plate
case113_btn.stl --> button plate


[to be continued]


2). replacement back-plate (and battery upgrading)
These are replacement parts for Arduboy’s back plate.
And there is also a back plate that can hold batteries with large capacity.

-CAD file;
case113.stp (case_113.123dx)
-STL file;
case113_bk2mm.stl --> back plate(Depth=2mm).
–> for replacing the backplate only(without replacing the battery).
case113_bk7mm.stl --> back plate(Depth=7mm), for replacing with a large capacity battery.
–> The size of the Lipo battery that can be stored in this is approximately 40 x 60 x (t=6)mm
case113_bk9mm.stl --> back plate(Depth=9mm), for replacing with a huge capacity battery.
–> The size of the Lipo battery that can be stored in this is approximately 40 x 60 x (t=8)mm
?Actually you may be able to store it even a bit bigger, but you will need to leave room in space for wiring etc.


4pcs. of “M2, 5 mm tapping screw” are required.


[Why tapping screw?]
For those back-plates, it is difficult to use the screw that was attached to the metal back-plate of arduboy.
That screw is enough to hold a thin, durable back plate made of metal.
However, it is not suitable for back-plate made with FDM type 3D printer, which is getting thicker to keep strength.
So, I chose “M2 5mm tapping screw”.


[How much capacity battery should be chosen?]
I tried a 2000mAh LiPo battery(“803860”–> 38x60x[t=8]mm ) for “case113_bk9mm.stl”.
Indeed, it helped for a long time operation.
But it was heavy, and it took a long time to charge.
Also, arduboy thickened and I felt it was difficult to handle it occasionally.


I guess that it is possible to realize its effectiveness by using “case113_bk7mm.stl”
and equipping a Lipo battery of 500 mAh - 1000 mAh.
I decided to chose a 860mAh LiPo battery(“603048”–> 30x48x[t=6]mm) for “case113_bk7mm.stl”.
It is because it meets the conditions required for “case113_bk7mm.stl” and it was easy to purcahse for me.
(Perhaps, there may be more suitable battery).

[to be continued]


3). back-plate with large batt. and Arduino-ISP(SPI) I/F
This is a modification of the shape of “case113_bk7mm.stl” in order to equip Arduino-ISP(SPI) I/F.

-CAD file;
case_113_btcn015.stp (case_113_btcn015.123dx)
-STL file;


a). female header
This will be Arduino-ISP(SPI) I/F.
It is the Female header as used in Arduino-Uno et al.
6 pins of the number of signal, MOSI/MISO/SCK/RESET/GND/VCC.
If you can not find exactly 6pin female header, you can cut long connector and process it.
Please process so that its width is about 15mm to fit the hole of “case113_015_bk7spi.stl”.
b). piece of universal board(t=1.5 or 1.6mm)
Please process fragments of universal board with thickness of 1.5(1.6)mm and make it 22x15mm.
This will be placed in the recess of “case113_015_bk7spi.stl”.
c). cut end of wire.
It is used for wiring.
6 wires of about 35 mm in length is necessary.
It is useful to have a flat cable tip.
d). 4pcs. of “M2, 5 mm tapping screw”



Above photo shows a LiPo-battery of size “603048”, 30 x 48 x (t=6)mm.
The maximum size of the LiPo-battery that can be stored is about 40 x 50 x (t=6)mm.

[to be continued]


-about 3D printing;

-CAD&slicer software;
I am still using 123D-Design. That’s because I have not yet transferred to Fusion 360. And the slicer is simplify3D.

-3D pinter , filament, and settings;
All the face-plates and back-plates shown in the photographs above were printed out by FlashForge creator pro.
Filaments are Poly-Plus-PLA translucent color(blue/natural/red/orange).

The outline of various settings are as follows.

Top Solid Layers=3
Bottom Solid Layers=3
Skirt; Layer=1, Offset=0.3mm, Outlines=3
Support Material=Yes

The screw hole of the back-plate is the part where support material is necessary.
If the strength of this part is insufficient, this part will be destroyed by screws or you can not fix the back plate.
If the automatically generated support material is poor, it may be better to manually add support.

Thank you for reading.


This is absolutely fantastic!! Seriously love this!

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Totally awesome! Also like the idea of adding the ICSP header :+1:

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How is the size? It is thicker now, and heavier… how does it feel?

Very nice job! Your 3d prints come out AMAZING! I’ve never got results that good before.


I am glad to have you say that.
I must admire admiration for the software and games you developed!!
Thank you.

I appreciate your advice and suggestions.
Thank you very much.

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I was able to return to the community. Thank you for your help.

How is the size? It is thicker now, and heavier… how does it feel?

The original Arduboy’s battery seems to be about 3 g.
In contrast, the 860 mAh battery is about 18 g, and the 2000 mAh battery is about 34 g.
When the weight of the battery differs by dozens of grams, the difference is noticeable with small items like Arduboy.

Also, the original Arduboy seems to be about 6 mm in thickness.
In contrast, the case thickness for the 860 mAh battery and the ISP header is 12 mm,
When you store a 2000 mAh battery, its thickness will be 14 mm.

My feeling is that if credit card size items exceed 1/2 inch thick, it seems to be difficult to handle.
The original size, weight and thinness of Arduboy is exactly a perfect design.

Very nice job!

It is an honor for me to hear such words from you. Thank you.

Thank you for listening and trying out ideas.

I just had another one. If you’d make that ICSP header 7 pins (or 8 pin with 1 pin key space to prevent reverse insertion) then D0/RXI could be connected to that extra pin and A SPI Flash cart could be used as well :smiley:


SPI Flash Cart Example:
(SPI flash chip soldered at bottom of a TXB0104 level shifter board with 3.3V regulator)

I held two Arduboys back to back and that feels like a good thickness to hold. Sounds like 860mAh 12mm +ICSP is perfect :slight_smile:

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Add one more pin to also bring out D1/TXO and you would be able to cable connect two Arduboy’s using RXI, TXO, GND (and possibly VCC), and use the UART for two player games.


Yeah! didn’t think of two player comms. so with a 9 pin header (or 10 pin with 2 key pins) expansion header. We a get three features: ICSP, flash cart (or SD cart) and 2 player link :smiley:

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Thanks for the information about SPI-FLASH.
Oh! It is necessary for the digital write signal line for the FLAH-#CS
(Furthermore, if the I2C connector is attached to Arduboy, Arduboy will be able to access EEPROM etc. via I2C…)

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Thank you for the link to interesting topics.
Indeed, the current 6 pin header should have “TX” / “RX” & “prevent-reverse”… increased to 9 or 10 pins.

The following signal lines should be added as a rough plan.

And I guess that the pin-headers should be as follows.

Whether this placement and wiring will work…, and the battery may need a smaller one.
Maybe I will search for a smaller battery of around 500 mAh.


I2C would be nice too! thinking about accelerometer … :slight_smile:

I wouldn’t put headers on the top. I would go for a 4 pin at the bottom for the extra signals TX/RX/D3/D2, 1 or 2 pin space (depends if 3D printing 1 pin space will be good/strong enough) and the 6 pin ICSP you already have.


When connecting a ICSP, flash I2C or serial board etc a male 11/12 pin header is always used. This protects for reverse insertion, reduces mechanical stress on each pin and gives a more firm connection.


Thanks for advice on several points.
The placement of the header as you indicated would be easier to produce.
Besides, it is important to prevent reverse stabbing.
…Based on those points, I tried making a prototype.

With this structure, the 12 pin female header is the limit size that can be placed.
And although RX and SDA are in a place hard to solder a little, wiring is possible.


(In this prototype, to prevent reverse stabbing, insert the peg into the hole of the header removed the terminal.)



Just a last sugestion. If you swap the key pin with reserved pin, you can’t miss-insert a 6 pin ICSP header.

@bateske if you’re planning to replace the aluminium back with a plastic one you should do it like this :wink: :smiley: