7-segment LED displays were revolutionary, finally providing a clear, readable and low-power numerical display solution. We’ve got plenty of other cheap display options now, but sometimes you just need the old nought-through-nine, and in a big, visible package, to boot. For those circumstances, consider whipping up a set of these 3D-printed seven-segment displays.
The build consists of a 3D printed frame, with each segment containing two WS2812B addressable LEDs. Each 7-segment assembly is then wired so they can be daisy chained, passing on data to the next digit in the chain. Paper is used to diffuse the LEDs for a smoother look, and a white 3D printed cover is printed for each digit to further spread the light and give a clean finish.
Being based on the WS2812Bs, it’s easy to drive such displays with just about any microcontroller or GPIO-equipped Linux board out there. We love big, beautiful displays – and the more artistic, the better. Video after the break.
7 thoughts on “Simple 3D Printed Seven-Segment Displays”
Would be cool if it could display the seconds as well and be set by WWVB.
“7-segment LED displays were revolutionary, finally providing a clear, readable and low-power numerical display solution.”
Is 7-segments the only one, or just the cheapest?
If you want cheap you can use 4 LEDs to display each digit in binary, that’s another hackaday project.
Not sure what you mean by “the only one.” The only what? There are all sorts of display methods.
14 segment displays, which is like a 7 segment but with a vertical center bar and a diagonal bar from the corner to the center of each of the four quadrants, are relatively common for displaying letters as well as digits. The first known example of using the 7-segment-like pattern for digits was an 8-segement method for printing on teletype tape that used a diagonal bar for the number four. Dot matrix displays are a rectangular grid of points and come in all sorts of different values for height and width. And of course there are all sorts of custom displays.
Though 7 segs first appeared with the numitron tubes were the bars/segments were filaments in a sealed envelope, so seemed like it was easier to make the segments straight. When LEDs came out, I guess the thought was to use that form to use the least LEDs possible to represent all numbers and the numitron was familiar to the market to some degree.
There was plenty of other display technologies at the time but the key is just as the author described “clear, readable and low-power”
I recently finished a similar project with 12″ high digits and six neopixels per segment. Digits are held off the wall by standoffs and all wiring is run through the standoffs and hidden behind the drywall for a clean look.
Please be kind and respectful to help make the comments section excellent. (Comment Policy)