TimeFrame - a Time Portal to Put on Your Desk.




Mind-blowing gadgets are rare these days. Very seldom will you stumble across something truly magical that leaves you in a state of confusion and amazement

This project is inspired by water drop levitating installations such as shown by many museums around the world and the “Slow Dance” kickstarter campaign by Jeff Lieberman.


What do you need to build your own?

You can get the kit including all parts here: http://www.cubic-print.com/TimeFrame

Get latest software here: http://www.github.com/cubic-print/timeframe


  • Soldering stuff
  • Battery-powered screw gun
  • Various drill bits(2mm, 3mm, 6mm)
  • Pliers & wire cutter
  • Mini USB-B cable for programming the Arduino


  • 1x 12V 1A power supply
  • 1x picture frame (at least 25mm deep, better 35mm)
  • 2m LED stripes (3 pieces of 60cm each)
  • 1x thin metal plate like thickness metal gauge (thickness: 0.3mm size: 10x70mm)
  • 1x rod fixation plate (eg. Aluminum 20x55x2mm)
  • 1x wood block about 4 mm longer than the iron core
  • 3x wood screws + washers
  • 1x iron rod / screw / nail (length around 60mm diameter: 6-12mm)
  • 1x fixation for iron rod like M6 bolt or just a nut in case you use iron screw
  • 45m (=40gr) 0.41mm (AWG26) isolated cooper wire
  • 3x small Neodym magnet (d=10 h=2)


  • 1x Atmega Nano V3.0 328P
  • 1x Capacitor 16V 4200 uF
  • 2x Mosfet IRF540N
  • 2x 10K Resistor
  • 2x 300 Ohm Resistor
  • 2x Diodes 1N4007
  • some cables for LED connection

Step 1: Preparing the Coil

Step 2: Mount the LEDs in the Frame

Step 3: Assemble Central Wood Block

Step 4: Build the Electronics and Mount the PCB

Please note that below circuit can not be simulated at the moment. The interrupt implementation is missing in the emulator software. Also Arduino Mini instead of suggested Nano has been used.

Programm the attached INO file or get latest software here: http://www.github.com/cubic-print/timeframe

Do not connect the unit to a computer when the magnetic coil is connected. The current draw and the reversed induced voltage might damage your USB port or computer. Always remove the Arduino from the PCB for programming!

Below video shows the kit electronic assembly.

Step 5: Operation and Dangers

Flowers and leaves work best. Please make sure they are dry so that the metal base is not rusting. Feathers also look truly amazing. Not sustainable enough? Paper-Flowers work as well. These can be a bit noisier depending upon material used.

Just use a rubber band to fix the flower on top of the resonator plate. For thin flowers you can also use a magnet to squeeze it in. The included magnets serve two purposes. They enhance the magnetic force and balance the momentum of the whole resonator. The amount and position is greatly influences the noise and amplitude of the movement.

All magnets have a north and south pole. They will better work in one or the other orientation depending on your coil winding direction. Just try were you think they offer more clamping force towards the running resonator plate.

The strongest force you get with the magnets opposite of the coil.

To increase the force even further you can put one magnet dictly on the end of the iron core of the electro magnet and not on the resonator plate. If you want to lower to force you can move the magnets up/down as well. This works especially well if you have only a small flower with low momentum it often makes sense to use less magnets, but move at least one magnet up where the flower is attached. This increases the tip weight and will remove any fast jitter from the movement.


The high frequency flickering within this product may cause an epileptic reaction due to photosensitivity. Most people will not even realize the flickering because it is much faster than average computer monitor. Due to uncertainties regarding the epileptic nature of this product please stop looking into the light when you experience other symptoms like headache, nausea or dizziness. Be especially careful during programming. Anything lower than 50 Hz will look like the strobe lights in a nightclub.

Circuits Contest 2016

Fourth Prize in the
Circuits Contest 2016

LED Contest

First Prize in the
LED Contest

14 People Made This Project!


  • Remix Contest

    Remix Contest
  • Build a Tool Contest

    Build a Tool Contest
  • Paper Contest

    Paper Contest

42 Discussions


2 years ago

Thanks for sharing the code! This is much more elaborate than my version. Is it possible to use this code with an H-bridge instead of the simple MOSFET for magnet control? I'm using one in my device. Providing push and pull on the magnet would make a stronger power, like the original slow dance sculpture.

2 replies

Reply 5 weeks ago

Please Can you share the code to me


Reply 2 years ago

I started off using an H-bridge for push/pull oscillation like you but found that it was far more complicated and in the end the effect wasn't too different than just using a push via PWM to the MOSFET, and letting it spring back.

There are two ways of achieving it with an H-bridge:

- The easy (and I think wrong) way: use a voltage divider to feed one side of the H-bridge with Vcc/2, then PWM the other input alternately between Vcc and Gnd. When I tried this my H-bridge overheated but I'm not entirely sure why, probably it had to dissipate too much power during the idle part of the cycle.

- the second method I think would work but I think the Arduino timer code might get complicated and you'll have to get your hands dirty and learn all about Arduino timers: You need to set up two output pins to PWM alternately between Vcc and Gnd but still in phase, so output 1 is high while output 2 is low and vice versa. Two considerations, first you probably want to drive the magnet under its rated voltage, as you won't need all that power and your magnet will likely overheat. Second, you might still be able to control the duty if you use two timers in sync instead of one, but then I think you'll lose your delay( ) function - Nanos have 3 timers: one is used for delay, millis, etc and you need one for your LEDs leaving you only one timer free. If you adjust the frequency of the first timer then those functions will behave unexpectedly.

I may be wrong about some (or all) of this, but I did spend a lot of time reading up on it and came to the conclusion that it was all too hard when CubicPrint's code was just easy, the MOSFETs dissipate virtually no heat and (most importantly) it still looks great.

Good luck with whatever you decide!


Reply 8 weeks ago

Hi! i want to buy this electronic kit. Can u do something for me? now its Currently unavailable in ur store. ty


Question 4 months ago

есть инструкция?


Reply 1 year ago

It's funny, I was about to finish my 2nd revision of a single sided board version of this project when you posted it minutes ago hehe.Thanks for sharing, I'll take a look a those files :)


Reply 1 year ago

I used a 1200uF @16v in mine, and it's working fine. The cap in this instance isn't being used for timing purposes, so it's just acting like a small battery to ensure there's enough juice for all the switching being done by the FET's.


1 year ago

Hi every one, i am new here. I love this, i'd like to make it one myself but for some reasons i can't. I need help, if anyone made many copy of the kit or parts or document to assembling in detail please send me one. Thank you so much :)


2 years ago

Anyone wanting a preprinted PCB from the Cubic Print github and are in Australia message me :)


2 years ago

why is the IRF44N listed in the parts list but the IRF540N is being used on the PCB schematic?

3 replies

Reply 2 years ago

Shoot... will the IRF44N Work? thats what i ordered and just recieved.


Reply 2 years ago

Don't worry. It should work. Pinout and Vgs are the same.


2 years ago

Wow, sold out of all your kits! I hope you don't mind that I've been sending people your way from my Instructable :)

It's proof of how popular this concept is, and thanks again for making it available!

1 reply

Reply 2 years ago

We got a little busy the last days, also thanks to you. Orders are still not too many. Our two people company can still handle to pack all orders. ;) Happy to hear all the positive feedback.


2 years ago

Is there any reason that this wouldn't work with a circular frame? I'm thinking it might look cool to use a small bicycle rim or fabricate a round rim for the LED's.