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An Arduino based mechanical color display fully 3D-printed.

I wanted to create a mechanical color Nipkow display based on Arduino which can be made without complex mechanical machining. So I decided to design and 3d-print all necessary components - including the Nipkow disk itself.

It’s easily reproducable for everyone who has a 3d printer and is interested in a bit more challenging Arduino projects. Below project description provide a step-by-step instruction how to build.

The disk included in this project produces an 32x32 pixel image with 18bit/pixel color-depth (RGB666). It can achive 25-30fps max framerate, so enough for stable and flicker-free images. The relatively high color-depth and frame-rate improves the image quality.

Most components are easy to make or available from Arduino or Amazon, the only special part is a fast, triple DAC LED driver to control each R, G, B channel. It requires more ports and memory than the standard Arduino Uno. That’s why I chose the Arduino Mega - it is handy because of many IO-ports and because of it’s larger memory (double-buffer for video).The electronics for the tripe DAC LED driver might be a little more effort to build on breadboard, so I decided to design my own PCB which worked great for this project.The disk motor is not controlled by the Arduino, instead the Arduino will measure the speed by the IR sensor unit each rotation and re-adjusts the timer for the pixel-readout.Other components include the MicroSD-card reader and a couple of buttons.”

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