This paper simulator of a German Enigma machine is 100% compatible with the real thing; you can send and receive messages between the Paper Enigma and the WWII-era cryptography machine.

Download one of these single-page PDF files by clicking one of the links below:

Paper Enigma PDF (English)

Paper Enigma PDF (German)

Just print (I suggest using heavy card stock), cut out the strips, and follow the directions on the page to build your own fully functional Enigma machine. This machine is compatible with the original 3-rotor German Enigma used during World War II. For simplicity it omits the ring settings and plug board, but the primary workings of the machine are captured in this model. It’s great as an educational tool, or just for fun!

Detailed Instructions

Enigma Machine and Rotors

If you want to confirm your encoding and decoding, you can use this:

Enigma Machine Simulator

Over the years, many teachers have used the Paper Enigma in their classrooms. I’ve really enjoyed seeing kids and adults having fun and learning a little something about cryptography and history.

Ken Parker's class (2006).

An Excellent worked example by Kevin for his students.