3D Printed Infinity Clock

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Introduction: 3D Printed Infinity Clock

About: High school student making things.

So the idea with this clock is to make it in the shape of infinity symbol which one side of the shape will be displaying the hour hand and the other one will be displaying the minute.

If you have any suggestions or questions for the design or the code you can comment down below

Supplies

2 Stepper motors and drivers (I am using 28BYJ-48 with driver)

Microcontroller (I am using Arduino Nano, any other will do)

3D Printer for making the case

A small breadboard and jumper wires (You can just solder the wires if you want)

A 5V dc adaptor and input jack

Step 1: Design

The design of this clock is based on an idea i haven't seen done before. It has 2 separate hands. One for the hour mark and one for the minute mark. In normal clocks these hands stand on top of each other but rotate at different rates. While thinking about ways of doing that with arduino and step motors or servo motors i've realised it isn't an easy task and it would be way easier to build if they were both separate. So i thought if they were separated there could be some unique designs to fit that. That is were this "Infinity Clock" idea was born.

I used Fusion 360 to design the whole case and used my high school's 3D printer to print the case. A 3D printer is not necessary to build this. In fact i think it would we way cooler to make this out of wood but it was easier for me to 3D print the whole thing.

I used black and grey PLA for printing and below are slicer settings and the STL files.

Slicer settings for the case:

0.3mm layer height

20% infill

0.8mm shell thickness

Slicer settings for the front part:

0.1mm layer height (Lower layer height is important for this part because it has more details)

20% infill

1mm shell thickness

Step 2: Circuitry

So the complete circuit is not very complicated but there are a few things to be careful with. Step motor driver's +5v pin should not be connected only to arduino's +5v output because arduino can't provide enough current for the motor and will fry. So we connect the motors and the arduino to +5v output of the dc jack. We also should connect all the grounds of drivers, arduino and dc jack together. When the circuitry is complete we can connect the arduino to a pc and upload the sketch.

Step 3: Finale

After uploading the sketch we need to unplug power, set the clock to current time by hand, then plug the power back on. After this the clock will start working.

The only problem with this build right now is these cheap stepper motors get out of sync as time passes so over time the clock will drift away from real time. This issue can be fixed by adding 2 encoders to the motors and adding an RTC module to keep track of time. I think this will be my next step for this project.

After all this was fun to build and taught me a lot about stepper motors and 3d designing in Fusion 360 so it was definitely worth it. And i got a cool clock now.

Any suggestions will be appreciated.

Stay creative.

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