Main Content

3 years ago we finished building a word clock controlled by 114 servos. In this variation of the popular clock, letters are projected from the back onto a screen. Each letter is connected to a linear actuator that can be moved back and forth by a servo so that the projection changes size and focus onto the screen. Since we got a lot of positive feedback for our clock we started to work on an improved version. Version 1 of the clock looked great but the building process was very tedious and would make it almost impossible for other people to recreate. In this project, we did a complete redesign of the clock with the goal to make it more reliable and greatly ease the assembly process.

Compared to version 1 we succeeded in making the following improvements

- reduction of 3D-printed components from ~800pcs to ~320pcs
- custom PCBA for LEDs (no cutting and gluing of WS2812B strips)
- custom cables for LED connections with JST connectors (no preparation and soldering of wires)
- custom PCB for main electronics
- improved alignment of letters
- greatly improved cable management
- WiFi connectivity
- time updated via NTP server
- control clock functions via web app (time setting, LED colors, brightness, transition effects, sleep mode, …)
- minimalistic design based on laser cut acrylic
- quieter servos due to reduction of travel speed
All resources for this build including a detailed BoM and assembly instruction can be found on the GitHub repo.”

Link to article