Lego Flip-dot Display

We don’t need to mention that flip-dot displays are awesome. They use no power except in transitions, are visible on even the brightest of days, and have a bit of that old-school charm. So then it stands to reason that the flip-dot display that [AncientJames] made out of LEGO is awesome-plus. Heck, it even spells out “awesome”.

The display is programmed by arranging single-unit bricks on a template to either turn on or off a pixel. A set of fingers raise up, the new template slides in, and the fingers are lowered onto the template to set the display dot discs. Sounds easy, right?

The single pixel mechanism is interesting enough on its own:

But then the transfer mechanism’s choreography is really sweet. If you’re interested in the mechanics, read through [AncientJames]’s explanation, and don’t skip the animations of Chebyschev’s Lambda Mechanism on Wikipedia.

It’s truly amazing what one can get done with a single crankshaft. Nice work, [AncientJames]!

If we can beg, any chance you’d make a video of the transfer mechanism on its own?

Thanks [Daniel Kennedy] for the tip.

10 thoughts on “Lego Flip-dot Display

  1. Reminds me of Jacquard loom. Using template to make it display specific pattern. Now if the template could be chained together to form a continuous loop and add a motor in place of that hand crank.

    1. And maybe a variation, that uses a mechanism like this to transfer one column at a time from data cards to the rightmost column, and then to the left of that, a different mechanism that implements a shift register, to do the scrolling one pixel column at a time.

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