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This Mechanical 7-Segment Clock Tells Time with Servos

by Paul Strauss
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When it comes to digital clocks, they typically use segmented or dot-matrix displays in order to tell the time. But one thing most of these displays have in common is that have no moving parts. Not so with this unusual timepiece, which looks like a digital display, but is actually mechanical.

Michael Klements of The DIY Life built this cool clock that uses 28 micro-servo motors to move its segments into place.

zoom in

The brains of the operation are an Arduino Uno controller and a DS1302 clock module to keep time. As the minutes tick away, the circuit and code instruct the servos to rotate back and forth. In the off position, it hides the segment on its side, while in the on position, the segment is visible. By 3D printing the segments with a brightly-colored translucent green filament, they look kind of like they’re illuminated. You can see the clock in action in the video below:

If you’d like to build your own mechanical 7-segment clock, you can check out all of the details over on Instructables or on The DIY Life. You’ll need some basic electronics skills, along with access to a 3D printer.



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