This is a work in progress split-flap display. Each module can flip between 40 unique characters: letters, numbers, and a few symbols. Multiple modules fit perfectly alongside each other to build bigger displays.

The primary design goal was to make something that’s possible to fabricate at home in small or single quantities and can be customized and built by an intermediate hobbyist at a reasonable price. This meant using widely available materials and avoiding any tooling with a high upfront cost.

Following that philosophy, the design uses PVC ID badge cards for the flaps (rather than custom die-cut plastic), store-bought vinyl stickers for the letters, and is driven by an ubiquitous and cheap 28BYJ-48 stepper motor. Even the enclosure, spool, and gears, which are all made from laser-cut MDF, can be easily ordered online.

This design is currently at a prototype stage. The source code in the git repo was able to produce a working prototype (with some manual modifications to correct for slight errors/omissions), but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend building your own quite yet, until there are fewer bugs, better documentation, and an improved instruction guide.”

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