Introduction: Make Your Own Arduino Nano (DIY - Arduino Nano)

Picture of Make Your Own Arduino Nano (DIY - Arduino Nano)

In this instructable, I will show you how to make your very own Arduino Nano. I'm using laminator for the toner transfer method.

What things you will need:

  • Copper - clad board (Dual Layer)
  • Ferric Chloride (FeCl3)
  • Acetone (Nail polish remover)
  • Glossy Paper
  • LASER Printer
  • Marker Pen
  • Scissors
  • Plastic container
  • Sand paper
  • Safety gloves
  • Latex gloves
  • Saw - For copper board cutting
  • Laminator or iron

Let's Do it...

Step 1: Designing of the Circuit

Picture of Designing of the Circuit

Design schematic diagram in EDA tool (PCB Design Software).
List of EDA Tools (PCB Design Software):

You can select any one of them.
I prefer EAGLE PCB Design Software.

Step 2: Designing of the PCB Layout

Picture of Designing of the PCB Layout

After designing of the schematic diagram, Now start designing of PCB Layout in the Eagle EDA tool (PCB Design Software). After that Take print out of PCB Layout on glossy paper.

Note: Use Only LASER printer only.

Remember, Before top layer printing. You need to mirror image of the top layer layout. otherwise, The circuit will be inverted..

Note: Scale Factor set to 1.

PCB Files (EAGLE PCB Files):

Step 3: Cutting of Copper Board

Picture of Cutting of Copper Board

Cut the copper board according PCB layout size. After cutting the paper, put this top layout on the top side of the PCB. Now put bottom layout paper on the bottom side of the PCB.

Step 4: Toner Transfer Method

Picture of Toner Transfer Method

I'm using laminator for the toner transfer method. Laminator maximum temperature is 150 C (302 F). For the toner transfer method, required temperature is 210 C (410 F). So this laminator is slightly modified for the toner transfer method. I changed potentiometer of laminator for increment of laminator temperature. Now set the laminating machine temperature to its maximum value. Now use a laminator to transfer the toner to the glossy paper to the PCB. Make sure your copper board is as clean as possible. Now start laminating machine.

Step 5: Etching Process

Picture of Etching Process

Before you start etching, check all the tracks. If any track broken, use permanent marker pen to draw a track with carefully. Use ferric chloride (FeCl3) as etchant. Get you ferric chloride(FeCl3) powder and mix with water in your plastic container.Now start to etching of PCB.

After etching process, use the acetone to clean it.

Step 6: Drilling Process & Soldering Process

Picture of Drilling Process & Soldering Process

After cleaning of PCB. Now start drilling of copper board. After Drilling, Start soldering process.

Step 7: After Soldering

Picture of After Soldering

After soldering, Start burning the bootloader on ATMega328-AU.

Step 8: Burning the Bootloader on ATMega328-AU (Arduino Nano)

Picture of Burning the Bootloader on ATMega328-AU (Arduino Nano)

Connect Arduino UNO board to your computer. Start Arduino program and from examples choose "ArduinoISP" sketch and upload it to the Arduino UNO board. Make sure you select the correct board name and serial port. After uploading "ArduinoISP" sketch, Please connect Arduino UNO (Work as Master) with the Arduino Nano (Work as target) using SPI bus.




Arduino UNO ------ Target AVR (Arduino Nano - ATMega328-AU)


SS (Pin 10) ------ RESET (Pin 29)

MISO (Pin 11) ------ MISO (Pin 16)

MOSI (Pin 12) ------ MOSI (Pin 15)

SCK (Pin 13) ------ SCK (Pin 17)

5V ------ VCC

GND ------ GND


After connections, Go to Arduino Software and

Select Tool ----- > Board ------ > Arduino Nano

Select Tool ----- > Port ------ > Select your Arduino UNO COM Port

Select Tool ----- > Programmer ------ > Arduino as ISP

After that,

Select Tool ----- > Burn Bootloader

Wait for "Done burning bootloader" message.

Step 9: Testing of Arduino Nano

Picture of Testing of Arduino Nano

After burning the bootloader on ATMega328-AU (Arduino Nano), You have to upload your actual sketch for this Arduino nano to work on your Project. For that use USB to UART converter.

I'm using CP2102 USB to UART converter.




USB to UART Converter (CP2102) ------ Arduino Nano


VCC ------ VCC

TX ------ RX (Pin 30)

RX ------ TX (Pin 31)

DTR ------ RESET (Pin 29)

GND ------ GND


After connections, Go to Arduino Software and

Select File ----- > Examples ------ > 01.Basics ------ > Blink

Select Tool ----- > Board ------ > Arduino Nano

Select Tool ----- > Port ------ > Select your Arduino UNO COM Port

Select Tool ----- > Programmer ------ > AVRISP mkll

After that,

Upload Blink Sketch to Arduino Nano.

Wait for "Done Uploading" message.

Job Done!


isdubkov (author)2017-02-18

I'm afraid this is not "Nano" but "Pro Micro" in terms of Arduino, because it has not a USB-UART converter onboard.

wonkytalkman (author)isdubkov2017-02-22

the pro micro uses the atmega32u4 which has the usb converter in the chip itself, where as the nano has it on the PCB, but not part of the chip.

So if we want to be very picky about the name. Its using the same chip as the nano, so its similar there, but functionally its ussing the USB-UART chip

isdubkov (author)wonkytalkman2017-03-02

> the pro micro uses the atmega32u4 which has the usb converter in the chip itself
Yes, sure, I're right!

My mistake. The thing with atmega328 and without USB-UART is called Arduino Pro Mini.

ChiefInstructor (author)2017-02-22

I downloaded the .sch and .brd files, copy-pasted them to a file using Windows Note. Am getting "Missing start tag" errors for both files. any ideas?



ankitmcgill (author)2017-02-22

I see that you have couple of vias under the MCU. What was your technique for soldering them to the bottom layer and at the same time ensuring there is no bump on the top layer so that the MCU sits flush on the top layer?

PaulR13 (author)2017-02-16

what was the total cost of the project? not counting tools and software, equipment.

Pratik Makwana (author)PaulR132017-02-16


The total cost of the project is 2$ Including all electronic components and PCB.

JosiahC12 (author)Pratik Makwana2017-02-21

This project is quite a money saver then, no?

Also a very useful and interesting project. I am trying this on 123d circuits currently to see if your instructions work on Autodesk.

JacobZ1 (author)PaulR132017-02-16

When you factor in your time to do it all, it's cheaper to buy a pre-made unit, however, doing it yourself is priceless and well worth the small extra cost. I imagine if you buy a few things in bulk, it's only about $2-$5 more than buying a manufactured nano.

ArifSae (author)JacobZ12017-02-18


the whole purpose of diy is not saving cost (although it can be a big additional benefit) The feeling that you made something can worth much more. On ali express its for $3.5.

I had same feeling when I made my project for 40ish dollar which is available on aliexpress for 5 :P but I made customized and its mine.

a good read

JacobZ1 (author)ArifSae2017-02-18

I completely agree, cost is not everything. I'm working on a project now that is going to be costing me around $500, but it is my own creation and something I've been wanting to do for some time. Building it myself far outweighs the cost. if I were to be paying myself for it, I'd have to expect about an extra $500 in wages. But, it's all worth it.

davidfer (author)JacobZ12017-02-16

The more attractive benefit to me would be the ability to combine the Nano with other components in a form factor of your choosing. Boards like the UNO are not the most efficient in terms of size. You can drop components you don't need, shorten traces, minimize power consumption, add as many or as few pinouts as you require. This is all quite compelling when moving from a prototype to final design.

RussellS8 (author)davidfer2017-02-16

I agree with your assessment; Designing your own circuits is far more valuable than not understanding the technology and just buying it. It's even a little disheartening that such marvels of engineering are of such little value.

I do IT for electrical engineers. While I know how to network and manage computers, they know how to design and build them.

JacobZ1 (author)RussellS82017-02-16

Nice! I just finished my Associates in EE. Fell in love with electronics about 4 years ago and have been soaking up everything I can since. The designing part isn't that difficult, just takes a lot of time(and sometimes, money!).

We all start somewhere. When I first started, I just hooked up modules and made things work, but with a little time, I started digging deeper and understanding why they worked. Now, I love designing from the ground up, making it work by understanding how everything works together. If I can just get a job doing it, that'll make a world of difference!

JacobZ1 (author)davidfer2017-02-16

Exactly! Which is why I get excited to see people posting Instructibles about this stuff. Being able to use an arduino is one thing, but being able to build the circuit on your own without a pre-bought module is priceless. Why put an entire Arduino into a project when you only need the chip and a few other components? To me, it doesn't make much sense. It's like buying a Lexus when all you need is a bicycle. It just seems like wasted resources. I for one would much rather build my own circuit than rely on something someone else built with a whole bunch of extra stuff I don't, or won't, need.

coolpersian (author)2017-02-16

Could you please include the Eagle file for the schematic or even a pdf version of the schematic, the one you have here is not very clear. please email it to me at


pcbwiz (author)coolpersian2017-02-18

looks like Eagle files are available in step 2...

coolpersian (author)pcbwiz2017-02-19

I believe it was added recently,

computurwizard (author)2017-02-17

I've used the laminator method for years and I have found the best paper for the best results is this: Avery brand mailing address labels. Remove the labels from the paper leaving just the "waxy" side and print on that. I've used it in about three different laser printers and it will not harm the printer (which was my apprehension at first). You get wonderful transfers using this paper, especially if you follow it up with GreenTRF Foil from the "PCB Fab in a Box" refills. Hope someone else finds this information useful :D

rafaelcruzbr (author)2017-02-11

could somone tell the list of eletronic components ?



Part List (BOM)


1. 22uF Capacitor (SMD 1206) - 2 piece

2. 0.1uF Capacitor (SMD 0805) - 3 piece

3. White LED (SMD 0805) - 1 piece

4. 16MHz Crystal - 1 piece

5. ATMega328-AU TQFP 32 Pin - 1 piece

6. 10K Resistor (SMD 1206) - 1 piece

7. 1K Resistor (SMD 1206) - 1 piece

8. Bug Strip (10 Pin Header) - 2 piece

9. Bug Strip (5 Pin Header) - 1 piece

10. Bug Strip (6 Pin Header) - 1 piece

11. Bug Strip (ISP 6 Pin Header) - 1 piece


Thank You.

JesperJ6 (author)Pratik Makwana2017-02-16

And a small reset-button?

Thank you so much

florin2901 (author)2017-02-16

Good idea.... I will sure try it out!

Thank you.

AlexeyZ15 (author)2017-02-16

That's a nice instructible! I did one of those but with though hole components. This project was actually more expensive then buying an Arduino Nano from China but still fun.

ohoilett (author)2017-02-16


agis68 (author)2017-02-14

good job. I ve done it a couple of years ago but I had connenting problems so I quit it...anyway well done

Pratik Makwana (author)agis682017-02-14

Thank you.

PATEL AKASH R (author)2017-02-12

Great job sir,

Thank you.

Tominaz (author)2017-02-11

real do it yourself. great starter project. why use a $30 board on all the arduino projects

Pratik Makwana (author)Tominaz2017-02-11

Thank You.

onion2 (author)2017-02-11

amazing, I must try it, this is real DIY.

Pratik Makwana (author)onion22017-02-11

Thank You.

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm electronics enthusiast. I like to design and develop new things.
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