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A DIY digital clock with a twist

Arduino TeamDecember 27th, 2021

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.

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.