New & Reviewed

Get Making: Altronics Inventa Maker Plates

Rob Bell

Issue 30, January 2020

We get our hands on the latest Maker Plates from Altronics, and we like what we see.

ABOVE: 2.8" TFT colour touchscreen model. K9660 RRP $175

Sometimes as makers, we struggle to get our projects developed into a finished product that looks comparable in quality to a commercial unit. While that’s not always the goal of DIY, sometimes you do want that clean and finished unit.

This is precisely where these Altronics Inventa Maker Plates come in. These in-house developed wallplates provide some powerful control, with a professional grade finish. They’re built into an Australian-standard wallplate, and are even provided with two different fascia covers to match the style of your existing wallplates.

We’ve been wanting to get our hands on these for some time, and we’re thoroughly impressed. If you’re looking to deploy your build into your home or office, you can certainly make great use of these plates. That said, they’re of such a high standard you could probably release a commercial product using them too.

While there are a few options available, our favourite is the 2.8” touchscreen version. Built with a SAM3X8E microcontroller, which is Arduino Due compatible, it’s easily programmed with your Arduino IDE. It even includes onboard USB, so there’s not much else you could want for.

You still get all the same hardware flexibility you’d expect from a raw Arduino, with GPIO access for total flexibility in the implementation.

There are three models available with different displays, each one with slight hardware differences too (microcontrollers and other hardware may change).

Utilises the powerful SAM3X8E ARM CPU as found on the Arduino Due.

Inventa Maker Plate available from Altronics:

  • 12 Button Shield Maker Plate K9650 RRP $59.95
  • 16 x 2 LCD Maker Plate with Buttons K9655 RRP $84.95
  • 2.8” TFT Touchscreen Maker Plate K9660 RRP $175