3D Printed Moon Phase Clock

Someone once observed that the moon is a harsh mistress. But that doesn’t mean you can’t keep track of her, specially with this awesome moon phase clock that [G4lile0] designed and built.

It uses a 3D printed moon model combined with a series of LEDs to create the phases. These LEDs are driven by an Arduino that calculates the phase to show, as well as driving a small OLED display that shows the date and time. There is even a party mode for all of those lunar raves that you host.

[G4lile0] has done an excellent job of documenting the code that drives the lamp, so it would be easy to add features, or adapt this design to show the phases of another moon or add other features. It’s an excellent overall design, and kudos to [G4lile0] for doing it all with open source tools like FreeCAD.


20 thoughts on “3D Printed Moon Phase Clock

  1. Wow. Harsh comments folks. I think it’s a pretty neat clock. The only thing I see that could use improvement is the resolution of the moon phase. I’m not sure how you’d improve it without making it much larger. Perhaps the waxing (or waning) segment might have the light level stepped over a couple of days to give a pseudo increased resolution. Also the sharp bands might go away if the light guides didn’t extend all the way to the inner surface resulting in a more natural light bleed

    1. I was thinking I’d go for a bunch of smaller surface mount LEDs and some more seperators. That’d let me add more resolution, but might give up any color changing (depending on how complicated I wanted to go). It’d also mean making some smaller boards as modules for handling everything, but i think it’d be worth it to get say 12-16 segments for resolution on the whole thing.

  2. This is awesome, but if you want to do something a little simpler, I will mention that I sell Lunar phase clock movements on Tindie. You just have to go to Zazzle and make a clock face with the phases in place of hour numbers. Then use just the hour hand. The movement will make the hour hand go around once in 29.53 days.

    1. To smooth out the motion of the one in the article, you could just have a single light source (or LEDs arranged to throw an even sphere of light) inside a hemispherical cup with one “pole” connected to the hour hand axle of your movement. You could also make the cup and light both stationary and spin the outer globe using the movement.

      1. The only thing to watch out for when using these movements other than to simply move hands is to insure you don’t ask for too much torque. The hour hand on these movements is just a friction fit, so that’s the biggest limiting factor.

    1. :0) +1
      (i know i’m not really adding to the conversation, but it was a comment that made me smile and that’s got to be worth something compared to shitpost that is the first comment.

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