Project:Word clock

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Word Clock
Word Clock
Word Clock
Contact info


Make a clock that spins to display the time as words with LEDs shining through holes in the faceplates.

Problem 1: minutes text legibility, the 3D printer has trouble printing complex fine details


  • 3D printed PLA
  • Drive tray motors from CD-ROM drives
  • Dual-switch from CD-ROM drives
  • RGB LEDs
  • Microcontroller (TBD)


  • Jarrett Vance
  • James Nylen


The clock design is a collaboration of RMM members. Major design areas are 3d printing and electronics.

3d Print Design

Disc bottom design.png Disc top design.png The clock is designed in OpenSCAD to be 3d printed. There are 4 volumes to print: Base2.png

  • Cover (printed 60% prototype)
    • Pattern obstruct view of discs below
    • Cut-out to see hours/minutes discs below
  • Hours disc (printed 60% prototype)
    • Chamfer around text to increase font legibility
    • Inner gear
    • Include bumps and homing bump for switch
  • Minutes disc (printed 100% prototype)
    • Chamfer around text to increase font legibility
    • Outer gear
    • Include bumps and homing bump for switch
  • Base (printed 100% prototype)
    • Main axis
    • Support for discs
      • Cutouts for motors
    • Platform for switches

Electronics Design

Motor placement.jpg As makers, we strive to reuse e-junk and that is the goal of this electronics design. There are 4 major electronic components:

  • Hour motor and Minutes motor
    • CD-rom drive tray motor
    • Modified shaft
  • Dual switch
    • CD-rom drive tray switch
  • (networkable) Microcontroller
    • Wifi so no need for buttons or accurate clock
    • Can program/control with HTTP REST
    • Need 2 input GPIO, 2 output GPIO, ? output PWM
  • LEDS, Mosfets, Circuit board
    •  ?


Word clock draft 1 pieces.jpg Word clock draft 1 disks.jpg Word clock draft 1 light.jpg Word clock draft 2 hours disk.jpg