Blog Home

This mechanical clock tells time using steel balls

Arduino TeamOctober 11th, 2020

There’s certainly no shortage of DIY clocks in the Arduino community; however, Eric Nguyen has come up with a rather unique way of showing hours and minutes: steel balls arranged as seven-segment displays.

For each time change, the face rotates down and a tray of arranged balls is lifted up to meet it via a servo motor assembly. Inside, a series of 28 servos capture and release the balls using magnet and linkage systems, plus another for the colon.

The device is powered by a Nano along with an RTC module for accurate timekeeping, and two PCA9685 driver boards control the motors directly.

As illustrated in the videos below, it’s an incredible build from a mechanical standpoint. Making it even more impressive, this is actually Nguyen’s first Arduino project!


2 Responses to “This mechanical clock tells time using steel balls”

  1. tqshay Says:

    This is amazing. Eric should consider selling kits. I would pay well for one!

  2. cinar_ozturk Says:


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in with your Arduino account to post a comment.