For years I've wanted to find ways of artistically expressing data that I check every day. Most of my job is spent on the computer or phone - and yes, there is an app or webpage that can do all of this and more. But I'm fatigued collecting my data from screens. Here's an interesting, artistic and refreshing way to view data in new ways. This electro-mechanical device can display current and historical weather, forecast, moon phase, solar weather, snow pack, stock-market, timers, (and of course the time) in a well laid-out system complete with Amazon Echo (Alexa) voice control! What we've developed is part-mechanical, part-arduino, part-LED, part-internet, part-stepper motor, part-wood, part-metal, and part-fun!
The principle of the clock is as follows. The inner ring is the mode ring and the outer ring has a "peep-hole" that corresponds to the inner ring's mode. So in the pictures above you will notice that it is currently in the moon mode. Color coordinated LED's will then display the AGE of the moon, the RISE time, the SET time, and the PHASE.
12 modes in all including Weather, Historic Temperature, Forecast, Ski Mountain Conditions, River Flow and few modes custom to my own personal needs.
All this data is collected from the internet via a cloud-connected particle core arduino microcontroller. The voice activated Amazon Alexa is used to change modes. Extra cool!
Due to the complexity of the clock, this will be a principle and inspiration based instructable rather than a detailed step-by-step. Source files and code will be attached!
Materials we need:
As can be seen in the pictures, the clock is composed of 4 main plates, two large internal gears, 3 small internal gears and some miscellaneous structural components. The clock utilizes the WS2812b pixel tape (144 units/meter indexing) oriented radially so that the pixel shines into a cavity and reflects up through a hole displaying the light.
I've attached the CAD files in both Rhino *3ds as well as the more universal *dxf files as well as the actual CAM files I created using VCarve (the post-processor I used was for Mach3).
The first step is to use the CAD files to create your own toolpaths and cut out he pieces you need. Theoretically you could use the CAM files in the ZIP folder but best practice suggests you use the CAD files and create your own (the attached files are for reference).
Any type of MDF can be used but for the face show pieces, it's nice to use painted MDF so that your lettering comes out sharp and crisp. I chose chalkboard material readily available at Home Depot as it is inexpensive and works great!
For the letter I used a 30 degree vcarve bit, for most other work I used a 1/16 endmill.