Inkplate 6 - An open source hardware e-paper display project

Crowdfunding for:

Inkplate 6 - Versatile, easy-to-use, Wi-Fi-enabled e-paper display


A new step into e-paper open-hardware? (Read Full Story here)

Quote Linux-Magazine:

Combining open firmware with recycled hardware, Inkplate launches a crowdfunding campaign for an open source e-paper display.

More Quotes:

Zovko goes on to explain that "Inkplate 6 is a display designed to make using e-paper extremely simple. Simplicity is achieved in both hardware and software. Just plug in a USB cable or battery, open the Arduino IDE, and change what’s on the screen with a few lines of code.

My question is: Will this help to deomcratize eink hardware development. Are we getting closer open source e-ink hardware?

What are your thoughts?


Looks interesting. Still a bit expensive considering they just took a used Kindle panel and hooked it up to an ESP32. I would be more interested in ordering a PCB from JLCPCB and soldering it myself rather than buying their product - now that’s a good hobby project :slight_smile: I’d also modify it to have clickable buttons instead of capacitive pads - they’re fancy, but less useful than buttons.

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Yeah that would be fun indeed. I mean the use cases are interesting but mostly for things which require low refresh rate like:

  • calendar
  • temperature display
  • weather display
  • air quality data monitor
  • collaborative task tracker where you can maintain shared lists of chores
  • groceries, or anything else you need to remember
  • a minimalist ePaper typewriter
  • an open hardware e-reader
  • a display for showing off art or pictures

It would be interesting to offer such a “modul” for people to build their own DIY laptops or eventually people being able to use it as a phone/tablet screen.

This is something I’m really interested in, but I couldn’t find any color e-paper displays for sale, without having to buy an entire e-reader. Do you know of any place where I could buy a bare color panel?

More precisely, it would be interesting to have a digital picture frame, but the existing ones use LCD and with all that power draw they have to be plugged in all the time. With e-Ink, I would probably be able to make it last months on a battery about the size of the display panel (but thicker).

You should reach out to one of our community members Martin:

“Sadly I’m not so into forums. Maybe after holidays I will open an account, but you can refer them to my project where I have some color epapers for sale. And I’m making important discounts to the registered people on the site that compose some screen”

Hi at the end I created an account. A part of the information in Cale you can also check my hackaday project where it’s explained what components you need if you want to build your own epaper

Some of my builds:

What exactly do you mean when you say “an epaper”? A picture frame?

The thing is I don’t need help building a picture frame, I just need help obtaining a plain e-paper display panel, with no MCU attached, no frame etc. Like if you disassemble a Kindle, you’ll find a display panel, a battery and a motherboard. I just need the display panel, but I don’t know where to find a color one without buying an entire e-reader.

@pauliunas you can buy them in
Goodisplay. Also Waveshare has buy they mosly buy them from them too with the exception of the 6 color epaper (But is slow)
So you can buy it there. Then you should drive it with some MCU like Arduino or ESP32 and send the right SPI commands in order to display something.
Be aware that new models are only parallel and they do not have Arduino or ESP32 examples since they are only supporting SMT 32 as their main MCU and they have a kit for this.

Other than that I must say that I like the INKPLATE project very much. But the black color does not satisfy me. It’s like always dark gray and compared to Goodisplay models the latter has much better contrast in my experience.

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Those are what I call “label e-Ink”, as they have only one color apart from black and white. The one color is useless for a picture frame, so I would have to use them as grayscale. And I know that at least some of them don’t even support grayscale, they only have white, black and one color of choice (usually red). In that case, I’d rather just get a cheaper grayscale model.

your display page is great! didn’t see those earlier. I like the LILYGO T5-4.7 inch E-paper, though the other ones on there are nice too!

not sure if someone mentioned this but seems interesting.

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blog update:

Thx for sharing !! I wonder when we see the first projects emerging !

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Waveshare has also now 7 color epapers. Still not good enough to show a photography…but well is more than just a label frame.

I added support for both sizes 5.65 and 4.01 inches:

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I can confirm the Lilygo 4.7 parallel is a very nice epaper with 6 shades of gray and super fast refresh. Also being parallel makes data communication at least 8 times faster (8 data lines so you can send a whole byte per tick instead of 1 bit like SPI)
I added support also using EPDiy but adding rotation and touch support in my class. Documented it here:

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Wow, i’ve been wanting to order a Lilygo 4.7. Espcially like the 3.7V battery hookup. Wondering if it could run another operating system like linux though :slight_smile: though that would be a difficult task. Like how it uses ESP32, and this person got 2.11BSD to run on it