Cuckoo Clock (arduino)




Introduction: Cuckoo Clock (arduino)

"This instructable was created in fulfillment of the project requirement of the Makecourse at the University of South Florida ("

For this project I decided to go to my roots, the black forest in Baden Württemberg Germany. There they create beautiful hand crafted cuckoo clocks all mechanically drive.

For this project, an arduino had to be implemented, and so this is how my cuckoo clock project was made.

Step 1: Create Design

The design for the house was created using Solidworks. Any CAD software can be used to create your own magnificent architectural design. Keep in mind that this does take several days to create a house where everthing fits together nicely.

With this in mind, I have uploaded the pdf files that you can use them.

Step 2: Laser Cut

Once you have designed your own house or simply downloaded the pdfs from the previous step, find your nearest laser cutter and cut out all the parts.

Step 3: More Parts

These are parts that need a little more precision. I would not recommend 3-D printing all of these parts. The shafts that are used should be precise. Find your closest machine shop and create these three shafts.

WARNING: these shafts may need to be different lengths depending on the thickness of material you are using for the house.

The sleeve was 3-D printed and was a perfect fit over the stepper motor (5VDC 32-Step 1/16 Gearing).

Step 4: Gearing

The gear ratio must be correct in order for the minute and hour hand to operate properly.

The 42 tooth gear is on the shaft that connects directly to the sleeve which is attached to the motor. The 10 tooth gear is on the thin long shaft and that gear meshes with the 42 tooth gear.

The divider is then placed on top of the shafts. The 12 tooth gear is now placed on the same shaft as the 42 tooth gear. Finally, the 36 tooth gear is put on the largest shaft and then the shaft is slid on top of the 10 tooth gear shaft.

Step 5: Small Assemblies

Now that all the parts have been cut out and the gears are put together the smaller assemblies can be completed. These are very simple. Simply find the right parts, look at the pictures and put them together.

Glue may be needed to hold the parts securely together.

Step 6: Arduino Schematic and Sketch


Small Reduction Stepper Motor - 12VDC 32-Step 1/16 Gearing

Micro servo,

Buzzer (peizo speaker),

Phantom YoYo Arduino Compatible Touch Pad Touch Button Module,

Simple LED.

Above are the components used for my project. These can easily be exchanged for other components that you may have lying around the house. HOWEVER, some design changes may be required!

The Sketch is also attached.

Step 7: Implement Mechanics

Now that the gear box and the house are pretty much completed it can be put into place. Do not but the floor on yet because the back of the house also needs to be put into place first.

The upper portion of the house is where the bird will move in and out of the house. The gear is attached to a servo motor which will have to be calibrated so it does not hit the wall. The tear drop is not included in the cutout of the servo holder but is only there to show the center of the servo head.

Again, some of these things need to be glued together in order for them to hold properly.

Step 8: Finish

Tip: The back of the house does not have an opening to reach inside if something were to go bad. Cut a large door out of the back so that it is easy to work from the back of the house.

Once everything seems to be working, the house can then be placed onto the floor.

There is room for all the electronics to fit inside the house.

All the smaller assemblies can now be glued on.

The minute and hour hand can be added to the shaft.

Power needs to be supplied to the arduino.

The Cuckoo Clock is complete!

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    3 years ago

    Hey! I don't suppose you could provide either some illustrator/photoshop files or DXF files for the laser cut parts. The machines I use don't like PDF's. Also how hard would it be to add a speaker to this design and add a hour sound? I'm more of a machinist than a programmer so any advice would be fantastic.


    Reply 2 years ago

    I second that.


    3 years ago

    how to make a "cuckoo sound "


    Question 3 years ago

    how to make a "Cuckoo Sound"


    Question 3 years ago on Introduction

    Can you tell me any specifics on the part sources?

    Is the micro servo a 180 degree or continuous rotation servo?


    Question 3 years ago

    Hi, I have a project in which I would like to use just the cuckoo clock mechanism as in the cuckoo movement in and out plus sound, without the clock itself. I'm planning to have at least 5 of those 'cuckoos' in an ordinary boxes that would open and close. Would it be enough to have one arduino or do I actually need 5 of them ? Would the 5V step motor be ok, or 12V is a better choice?
    Looking forward to hearing from you, bests, m


    5 years ago

    Nice DIY cuckoo clock! I have a cuckoo clock from the Black Forest in Germany, and this laser-cut one resembles a lot of the design features. I'd love to make this one some day - have you thought of staining it?


    Reply 5 years ago

    I thought about staining it, but once I assembled it all it looked good so I decided to just leave it alone :P