Business Card With Polaroid + Arduino




The goal of our project was to create a machine that produces business cards.
We decided to hack a polaroid exploiting the internal mechanism to create our personal business card that bear the logo of the Fab Lab Turin.

We replace the shutter with an RGB LED and, applying a diffuser, it generates a random color that imprints on a polaroid paper an image generated by a stencil placed over it.

Everything is managed by a program loaded on a Arduino connected with both the motor of the machine and the RGB LED.

Please note: to build this project you need an average skill in electronics and in programming.

Step 1: Sketch

Step 2: Unmount and Studing the Hardware

After opening the machine, we have identified the components useful for our project and eliminated unnecessary ones to optimize the space available.

Components used:

  • Self-starter
  • Shutter

Components included:

  • Mosfet
  • A power switch
  • A button

Step 3: Electronics

Now we have to identify the inputs and the outputs:


  • The button to start the machine process
  • A switch that indicates when the self-starter has completed the process of printing


  • RGB LED (Red, Green, Blue channels)
  • Self-starter motor

We noticed that, upon completion of a rotation of the engine, a small metal plate is raised.

We placed a button on the small metal plate which will then be read by Arduino like a button.

Step 4: Wiring the Arduino

In this phase, we connected the following components to Arduino:

  • The engine of Polaroid, connected by a Mosfet
  • The switch adapted on the small strip of metal that rises to the completion of the rotation
  • 3 channel of the RGB LED each connected to the NPN transistors
  • The start button
  • A switch of ignition

Now you can program the Arduino.

Step 5: Make the Stancil

After having designed on a drawing digital software we cut the stencil on a plastic plate (1mm) using a laser cutter.

Step 6: Assembling and Loading

The stacil obtained was placed over the container of polaroid's cartridge which is loaded into the machine.

Step 7: Results and Final Thoughts

After about 40 minutes the polaroid is fully developed.



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    This is awesome! Can you provide a parts list and circuit diagram?