Great steampunk style includes flashing lights, moving parts and sensors — all perfect candidates for Arduino automation! With some LEDs, a servo or two, and some imagination and a willingness to experiment, you can create some really cool Arduino steampunk projects. Here are seven you can use for inspiration.

Steampunk Clock

steampunk watch

This impressive watch garnered a lot of attention when it first debuted, and it remains an Arduino steampunk classic. With a wooden case, a brass tube and some monocle-like lenses, it exudes steampunk style, and in the Arduino it adds some cool functional tech. The source code allows the clock to display the time in digital, binary, or analog format, and also includes a Blackberry-style trackball for playing Breakout.

Steampunk components

Assembling a watch is a little tricky and requires a lot of parts, both electronic and mechanical. Luckily, the Instructable has some tips on where to get the parts (most of the electronics are available from SparkFun and the rest from MarVac or Home Depot). To do this, you will need a wood carving machine and a drilling machine, which you can probably find at your local store. local hacker space local hacker space You will also need to make some cutouts in the watch band to attach a few components. It’s a lot of work, but it’s definitely one of the coolest steampunk projects you can take on.

Steampunk FM radio (part 1, part 2)

Although the instructions for this radio are not very detailed, you can use these blog posts as a guide to making your own. You will need an FM radio module, an ATTiny45 board, a potentiometer, and a few other basics. Working with a tiny radio may require some basic soldering skills. but other than that, you should be able to complete this project without doing a lot of extra work besides connecting the electronic components.

radio components

In addition to creating a radio, you just need to create a case for it. Using any wooden box and a few brass pieces you’re likely to find at a thrift store. or on eBay, you can create a case that matches your steampunk aesthetic. Use your imagination!

Steampunk Analog Clock

analog clock

Sensors with faces and hands are an important part of the steampunk aesthetic, and this watch combines three of them; one for hours, minutes and seconds. It will take a lot of time, talent, and equipment to create the entire moon phase display case — the original creator of this project is actually a mechanical engineer. But by combining his watch face instructions with your own creativity and a couple of tools, you can create your own three-faced analog watch.


With Arduino, three voltmeters, clock module rotating encoders and some other details, you can install a cool steampunk clock. The instructions also include the Arduino code you’ll need so you don’t have to figure it all out yourself (although if you want to learn a lot about Arduino programming, you can try it yourself first)

Steampunk Bandwidth Meter


Want even more analog gauges in your steampunk office? This bandwidth meter will tell you the incoming bits per second on your connection using the antique look of an analog face. The instructions aren’t very clear, but by combining the videos associated with the blog post, the post itself, and an inspiring magazine article Make you will be able to understand it.


One thing you don’t have to figure out is how to program it all; The files you need can be found in the github repository where they can be downloaded and used to power your bandwidth meter. Combining these resources with a little «try, try, and try» attitude will get you some Arduino success!

Steampunk Compass

Can’t find your local steampunk? Why not build a compass to help you? With a wooden box, a set of gears and a classic hour hand, your compass will help you find, geocache or just look really cool. By combining an Arduino board with a compass module, a servo, and a few gears, you get a working compass.

steampunk compass

As with many of these projects, you’ll need to come up with the wooden case yourself; however, since you only need a servo hole to drive gears, you could probably use a small drill and an empty box to do this. This is a great first Steampunk Arduino project for beginners.

Steampunk Steam Gauge

While you can’t have steam power in your home, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a steam meter! The needle on this sensor is controlled by a small servo, which in turn is controlled by an Arduino. The project itself doesn’t require too many details — a Bourdon tube gauge, LEDs, a new gauge face, a servo — but it does take all the ingenuity to put it all together.

steam calibration-components

This is especially true if you want to mount it on the wall. If you spend some time on this project, you’ll have a really cool ultra steampunk sensor that looks like it’s measuring the amount of steam in your house. All in all, this is a surprisingly simple project and probably suitable for Arduino beginners.

Steampunk GPS

Steampunk GPS

Want more accuracy than a steampunk compass can give you? This GPS will show your current latitude and longitude, let you enter coordinates for a target, beep to tell you how close you are to your target, and show you the angle to your destination. in short, it’s the perfect steampunk geocaching device.

Steampunk GPS Components

This post, another project with less than perfect instructions, only gives a rough idea of ​​how to build a GPS. This will require a GPS module, analog dials, switches, a beeper, a display, and a LiPo charger. Luckily, the required Arduino code is linked to the post, so between the images on the page and the required code, you should be able to figure out what you need to do.

Share your favorite steampunk creations

These Arduino-based steampunk devices are great for people who are decorating with a steampunk aesthetic, into steampunk cosplay, or going to a steampunk convention. But there are many more potential uses for the Arduino to create steampunk devices. What else did you see there? What would you like to try building? Share your thoughts below!

Image Credits: Industrial Dark Metal by donatas1205 via Shutterstock

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