This page is an archive of the original crowdfunding campaign for this project. It may not be up-to-date with the latest updates and product availability. Return to the current project page.
A powerful, Wi-Fi enabled ESP32 microcontroller makes this six-inch e-paper display – recycled from a Kindle e-reader – incredibly easy to control. Just plug in a USB cable, open Arduino IDE, and change the contents of the screen with few lines of code.
If you’re like us, the first time you saw an e-reader, you thought to yourself, "I could do something with that." Thanks to clean lines, high contrast, daylight readability, and the remarkable level of energy efficiency that comes from drawing power only when changing the contents of the screen, e-paper is uniquely suited to many applications.
After experimenting with the handful of readily available e-paper screens, however, we just couldn’t shake the sense that none of them was really a finished product. We had to wire them up to external microcontrollers, learn device-specific commands to update their screens, locate hard-to-find sample code, cobble together our own power management, and provide whatever interfaces our project ideas might require. It was a mess.
With Inkplate 6, our goal is to make e-paper accessible to hobbyists and DIY product designers by offering a plug-and-play hardware platform that has it all:
Here is a random sampling of things you might want to see hanging from your wall, sitting on your desk, stuck to your refrigerator, tucked away in your bag, or surrounded by a custom frame:
Whatever your e-paper idea might be, as long as it’s compatible with a six inch screen, Inkplate 6 probably represents your quickest path to it. And even if you’re working toward something larger or smaller, Inkplate 6 can still save you some headaches while you’re prototyping.
We’d rather see them in your hands than in a landfill somewhere. And by recycling used Kindle screens, we are able to offer high-end features at an affordable price. You can find more information in the comparison table below, but some of the highlights include:
shades of grey (1-bit black & white mode also available)
Inkplate 6 is built around one of today’s most popular microcontrollers. If you already have experience working with ESP32, then you’re in good company. Developing for Inkplate 6 should feel mighty familiar. And if you’re new to ESP32, this is a great way to start learning a set of skills that will serve you well for a long time to come.
The ESP32 WROVER module at the heart of Inkplate 6 features:
Inkplate 6 is open hardware, and the software that powers it is open source. You can find both our design files and our source code on GitHub. That includes:
Our MicroPython module remains a work-in-progress, as does the datasheet for our board, but we will have both online by the time you receive your Inkplate 6.
We have already done a great deal of work to make Inkplate 6 easy to use, but a larger community could accomplish even more. Inkplate’s Arduino and MicroPython ecosystems will only get healthier over time, and we invite you to contribute to the libraries, tools, and frameworks that will help Inkplate 6 (and subsequent models!) mature into the hundreds of different consumer products they want to be when they grow up.
|Inkplate 6||Waveshare EPD||Adafruit EPD||Pimoroni Inky wHAT|
|Resolution||800 x 600||640 x 384||250 x 122||400 x 300|
|All-in-one Board||Yes||Requires controller & 2 add-ons||Requires controller||Requires controller|
|Low-Power Mode||25 μA||No||No||No|
|Refresh Time||0.264 s||~6 s||~2 s||~10 s|
All hardware and software documentation for Inkplate 6 will be published and openly maintained in our GitHub repositories. We provide free technical support for all products manufactured by e-radionica. An English language forum for this purpose is currently under development. Meanwhile, please contact us through the campaign page if you have any questions.
We made several test runs prior to this campaign, and the Inkplate 6 design has been verified and is ready for production. E-radionica has its own in-house electronics manufacturing line staffed by a team with experience handling large manufacturing runs. We will produce batches of 100 Inkplate 6 boards, and we will ship them as soon as they are off the manufacturing line.
Once they are manufactured and tested, all Inkplate 6 boards will be sent from Osijek, Croatia to Crowd Supply’s facility in the United States for final delivery to backers. All Inkplate 6 boards will be protected for shipping by custom-cut foam, a sealed plastic bag, and a sturdy cardboard box. We expect to begin shipping by the end of February, and all products should be delivered to backers by mid-April.
For more information about ordering, paying, and shipping, please see Crowd Supply’s Guide. For many non-US backers, VAT will be pre-paid, and products will be pre-cleared through customs.
We have throughly tested both the Inkplate 6 hardware and the Arduino library, and we believe we have worked out any technical issues. We have gone through multiple prototyping runs and, with one notable exception, have identified backup suppliers for components. The e-paper screen at the core of Inkplate 6 is recycled, and our supplier currently has around 4000 pieces available. If demand exceeds this quantity, we will try to identify additional suppliers, but there is no guarantee that we will succeed.
While shipping delays are always a risk, we have quite a lot of experience moving products around the world, and we intend to use that experience to keep those risks to a minimum.
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