3D Printed Flip Clock Is Worth A Second Look

Flip clocks: they were cool long before Bill Murray was slapping one repeatedly in Groundhog Day, they were cool in 1993, and they’re still cool now. If you can’t find one on the secondhand market, you’re in luck, because [iz2k] has laid out an extensive blueprint for building a gorgeous retro-looking clock with some modern touches.

There’s a Raspberry Pi to fetch the time, the weather, and the Spotify. Old flip clocks invariably tuned in FM radio, so [iz2k] used an RTL-SDR dongle and a software decoder for the deed. This clock even has a big snooze bar, which functions like a night light when there is no alarm actively going off. The three groups of painstakingly-printed flaps are controlled with stepper motors and an IR transmitter/receiver pair to do the counting.

For the interface, [iz2k] kept things nice and simple. The big-knobbed rotary encoder handles volume up/down/mute, and the little one on the front switches between FM radio, Spotify, and silence. Moving either knob generates feedback by flashing LEDs that sit underneath the display. Take a few seconds to flip past the break and check out the short demo.

If you do find a nice flip clock out in the wild, maybe you can retrofit it.

11 thoughts on “3D Printed Flip Clock Is Worth A Second Look

    1. I know there’s that chaos theory aphorism about a butterfly flapping it’s wings and causing a hurricane, but to affect the weather more reliably you’d have to build a megacity scale hygrometer and put it near one of those inflection points like the gulfstream or where el nino forms…

  1. Cool looking project and I hate to be that guy but…

    It would have been simpler if he had used an RDA5807M or TEA5767 stereo FM module instead of RTL-SDR dongle.

    On the other hand, he can receive weather alerts or listen to aircraft frequencies with the RTL-SDR dongle.

    1. Simpler to use something that requires being wired up and creates a second audio output that then has the either be amplified separately or use another device to input the audio to the Pi. Versus just plugging something in to USB and being able to use the same audio output as everything else. Not sure you have fully thought through your simpler suggestion.

      1. Interesting observation… hmmm let me update my full full length Curriculum Vitae…. what to heading to put it under… Feats assumed to be Miracles.. nope.. Feats regarded as borderline impossible… nah… Canonical examples of rocket surgery…hmmmno… Ah, here then… Feats now generally assumed to be rocket surgery…. scroll…scroll…scroll…heh sorry, few pages long that bit, new entry on page 53 then. “The ability to mix audio signals”… that should cover it.

        1. That should be “The ability to mix digital and analog audio signals without additional hardware”, according to adafruit the I2S speaker bonnet this project uses converts and amplifies the signal on the same chip. Your missing the point though, not that its not possible, just that its not simpler that using a usb dongle and the systems existing audio.

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