Word Clock Does The Job With Laser-Etched Acrylic

As far as telling the time, word clocks go out of their way to spell it out for you. As long as you know the language, they’re a stylish and effective way to get the message across. [Simon] built an elegant, stripped-back word clock of his own, with a laser cutter helping to get the job done.

The core of the build is an Arduino Nano, hooked up to a string of 22 WS2812B LEDs, driven via the FastLED library. An NXP PCF8563T serves as the real-time clock, to ensure stable and accurate timekeeping. The electronics are all housed inside an enclosure that appears to be constructed from PCBs, with instructions on operating the clock printed on the base.

The actual display is via laser-cut and laser-etched acrylic. The display piece slides into the top of the clock, with the LEDs edge lighting various segments to display the relevant words that make up the current time. The clock is designed in such a way that these display slides can be easily switched out to change the look of the clock, with different fonts and designs.

It’s a quick and clean take on the popular word clock design, and one any makerspace could whip up in a weekend. As far as word clocks go, however, the sky really is the limit when it comes to complexity. Video after the break.

6 thoughts on “Word Clock Does The Job With Laser-Etched Acrylic

  1. I’m impressed – I’ve never seen individual “fingers” of a single plate acrylic lit separately like that, and I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it. I would have expected a lot more coupling from one finger to the next, but I guess the top edge is polished well enough that almost all of the reflection is straight back down to where it came from. Very slick.

Leave a Reply to Maakbaas Cancel reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.