Flip-up clock

A Flip Clock That Flips Up, Not Down

The venerable flip clock has become an outsized part of timekeeping culture that belies the simplicity of its mechanism. People collect and restore the electromechanical timepieces with devotion, and even seek to build new kinds of clocks based on split-flap displays. Designs differ, but they all have something in common in their use of gravity to open the leaves and display their numbers.

But what if you turned the flip clock on its head? That’s pretty much what [Shinsaku Hiura] accomplished with a flip clock that stands up the digits rather than flipping them down. The clock consists of three 3D-printed drums that are mounted on a common axle and linked together with gears and a Geneva drive. Each numeral is attached to a drum through a clever cam that makes sure it stands upright when it rotates to the top of the drum, and flops down cleanly as the drum advances. The video below makes the mechanism’s operation clear.

The build instructions helpfully note that “This clock is relatively difficult to make,” and given the extensive troubleshooting instructions offered, we can see how that would be so. It’s not the first time we’ve seen a mechanically challenging design from [Shinsaku Hiura]; this recent one-servo seven-segment display comes to mind.

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Whiteboard Plotter Rocks Three Colors And An Eraser

AutoWhiteboardBot’s business end, with three markers.

[td0g]’s AutoWhiteboardBot is not just any 3D printed whiteboard plotter, because it also sports a triple-marker carrier and on-board eraser! The device itself hangs from stepper motors, which take care of moving the plotter across the whiteboard, and the trick to making the three colors work was to incorporate retractable dry-erase markers. A spherical Geneva drive-based assembly on the plotter rotates the pen cartridge, and a plunger activates the chosen color. Erasing, arguably the easiest thing to do on a whiteboard, is done by a piece of felt. 3D printed parts are on Thingiverse and [td0g] says software is coming soon. It’s a clever device, especially the method of accommodating multiple colors with retractable markers.

AutoWhiteboardBot hangs from motors which pull it around, but we’ve also seen a SCARA-type robot writing away on a whiteboard. Watch the video embedded below, which begins with sped-up footage of AutoWhiteboardBot drawing in different colors as it slides across the board surface.

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A Little Geneva Drive Made Of Wood

MDF Geneva drive in action

Long ago, before servo motors and linear actuators were common, clever mechanical devices were what engineers used to produce the needed motion for their processes. The CNC-cut Geneva Drive may not be fit for industrial use, but this type of device has been used in everything from film projectors to rotating assembly tables. The constant rotation of the driving wheel is translated into intermittent motion by the [Maltese cross] driven wheel.

The drive and Maltese cross section of this particular drive are made out of MDF with the exception of a putty material that the motor shaft press-fits into. The article claims that this is the only Geneva drive in existence made out of MDF, however, we’d love to see that proven wrong in the comments!

If you’d like to make one of these yourself, CAD and G-code files are given for the hand-cranked version that this Drive is based off of in a separate post.  If you’re not familiar with how a drive like this works, or would just like to see everything in action, be sure to check out the video of it after the break! Continue reading “A Little Geneva Drive Made Of Wood”