Arduino TeamDecember 27th, 2021

a diy digital clock with a twist hyperedge embed

The digital clock has existed in its current form for decades at this point, so it’s quite exciting to see when a new take on the classic design comes along. The Time Twister 5, created by Hans Andersson, is a fully 3D-printed electromechanical clock that twists certain blocks into place, which make up digits to display the current time.

Each block consists of five distinct layers, where each layer is a triangular prism with three outer faces. These faces come in a total of five different patterns and are arranged in such a way that any digit from zero up to nine can be represented by simply turning the correct layer(s) a certain amount. The internal electronics — including the Arduino Mega, DS3231 real-time clock module, sensor shield, and power circuitry — are all housed in the gold-colored base. Each layer is stacked upon three metal rods for support and contains a single micro servo that twists planetary gears to move the outside while keeping the inside stationary.

a diy digital clock with a twist 1 hyperedge embed

While watching Andersson’ demonstration video below, it is tough to not become entranced by the synchronous movements the digits all rotating into place within the timespan of a second. To read more about his project or to download the files to build one yourself, you can visit his website here.

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