Introduction: 3D Printed Flashing LED Dial Clock

About: Yantrah has set out to create the problem solvers of today and tomorrow. We hope to help produce more innovators, makers, builders and entrepreneurs with the help of technology as an enabler!

Welcome to Yantrah's instructable!

We at Yantrah focus on hands-on education, we teach 3D CAD designing, programming, STEAM and robotics.

This is a simple arduino based 3d printed clock with flashing LED’s to show the hour, minutes and seconds passed . We designed and coded the whole clock in TINKERCAD.

TINKERCAD is very easy web-based CAD software which allows you to design 3D models and also has a circuit feature that allows you to code and simulate circuits. Follow the instructions below to make one yourself!

We have provided you with the .STL files for 3D printing, coding for arduino programming and a few videos of some of the processes. Enjoy!

Step 1: Components / Parts

  • 3D Printed parts (Link in the description)
  • 36x LED lights (3 colours 12x LED of each)

  • 3x arduino nano 3x 100 Ω (ohm) resistor

  • PCB board

  • Multicore cables

  • Soldering iron and wire

  • Hot glue gun

  • 12 V power socket

  • 12 V Adapter

  • 6x PCB female connector parts with 15 pins

Step 2: 3D Printed Parts

We have provided you with two .STL files for this project. The first is a clock face plate and the second is a PCB board base plate. We recommend the following print settings:

Clock plate:

  • Infill :- 20%
  • Resolution :- 0.2mm
  • Raft :- No
  • Support :- No

PCB board base plate:

  • Infill :- 20%
  • Resolution :- 0.2mm
  • Raft :- No
  • Support :- Yes

Step 3: LED Light Assembly

Using your 3D printed clock face, assemble your LED’s into each of the holes. There are three layers of LED’s and each layer represents the following:

Layer 1 = Outer layer = RED = Seconds

Layer 2 = Middle layer = GREEN = minutes

Layer 3 = Inner layer = Blue = Hours

Once, all LED’s are placed on the clock face plate, we need to connect all the negative poles of each LED light from one layer to a strip of wire from a multicore cable using a soldering iron (cut off any extra wire). Repeat this process for each layer of LED’s. Note, the longer end of a LED is the positive pole and the shorter is the negative pole.

We have used a hot glue gun to secure any loose ends.

Step 4: PCB Board Assembly

Take a PCB board and cut it into 75 x 70mm.

Connect each of the female PCB connectors to the PCB board and then solder these to secure them. These need to be spaced out enough so that the arduino nano’s can be connected to them, with a gap in between each arduino board.

Take the PCB board and place this into the 3D printed PCB board plate. Now place the clock face into the groove on the PCB board plate.

Step 5: PCB Circuit Assembly

Each LED layer needs to be connected to an arduino board as follows:

12 o’clock - D2

1 o’clock - D3

2 o’clock - D4

3 o’clock -D5

4 o’clock - D6

5 o’clock - D7

6 o’clock - D8

7 o’clock - D9

8 o’clock - D10

9 o’clock - D11

10 o’clock - D12

11 o’clock - A1

Make sure each layer is connected to the following arduino boards:

Layer 1 = Outer layer = Seconds = arduino 1 (left most)

Layer 2 = Middle layer = minutes = arduino 2 (middle)

Layer 3 = Inner layer = Hours = arduino 3 (right most)

Connect the power jack to the PCB board.

Step 6: It’s Coding Time

We have done all the coding for this using block coding in Tinkercad. No coding background is required for this. To make things easier for you, we have provided you with the file with the coding required for this project.

Copy the whole code code we have provided into arduino software then go into tools > board > Arduino nano Then go to Processor > ATmega328P.Select the port you have connected the arduino to and upload the code

Make sure that you upload the second hand arduino code to one arduino board, minute to second arduino, and hour hand to third arduino.

Step 7: What’s the Time?

Plug the cable to socket at sharp 11:59 am now your clock runs perfectly! This is what you will see:

Layer 1 = Outer layer = Seconds = changes positions every 5 seconds

Layer 2 = Middle layer = minutes = changes positions every 5 minutes

Layer 3 = Inner layer = Hours - changes positions every 1 hour

(As we have used simple block coding in this instance we are limited by when we can setup the clock)

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