An electromechanical clock based on sliding frames

Watch Time Slide By With This Electromechanical Clock

Back in the 18th century, clockmakers were held in high esteem, as turning pieces of metal and wire into working timepieces must have seemed like magic at the time. The advent of mass production made their profession largely obsolete, but today there are several hardware hackers whom you could consider modern heirs of the craft. [Hans Andersson] is one of them, and has made a name for himself with an impressive portfolio of electromechanical clocks. His latest work, called the Time Slider, is every bit as captivating as his previous work.

The insides of the TIme Slider clockThe mechanical display is almost entirely made of 3D printed components. Four flat pieces of red PLA form a basic 88:88 indicator, onto which the correct time is displayed by sliding frames that black out certain pixels. Those frames are moved up and down by a rack-and-pinion system driven by stepper motors. Evertyhing is controlled by an Arduino Mega, acoompanied by a DS3231 RTC and eight ULN2003-based stepper motor drivers.

[Hans] wrote a detailed assembly guide to go along with the STL files and Arduino code, so it should be easy make your own Time Slider if you have a decent supply of PLA filament. The display takes about ten seconds to update, but the process has certain hypnotic quality to it, helped by the mechanical whirring of the stepper motors in the background. Especially the hourly change of three or four digits at once is mesmerizing, as you can see in the video embedded below.

Time Slider is the latest in [Hans]’s long line of mechanical clocks, which includes the Time Twister series that evolved from a clever Lego-based design to a neat 3D-printed model. The rack-and-pinion system can also be used to make a compact linear clock.

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Scratch Building A Lathe From Pieces Of Granite

As hackers, we’re well accustomed to working with what we have on hand. That’s the name of the game, really. A large majority of the projects that have graced these pages are the direct result of trying to coerce a piece of hardware or software into doing something it was never designed to do, for better or for worse.

But even still, attempting to build a functional lathe using scrap pieces from granite countertops is a new one for us. [Nonsense Creativity] has spent the last several months working on this build, and as of his latest video, it’s finally getting to the point at which the casual observer might recognise where he’s going with it.

We won’t even hazard a guess as to the suitability of thick pieces of granite for building tools, but we’re willing to bet that it will be plenty heavy enough. Then again, his choice of building material might not be completely without precedent. After all, we once saw a lathe built out of concrete.

Building a lathe out of what you’ve got laying around the shop is of course something of a tradition at this point., but if you’re not quite up to the challenge of cutting your own metal (or granite, as the case may be), [Quinn Dunki] has put together a lathe buying guide that you may find useful.

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Star Trek Inspired Pocket Doors

Do you have enough confidence in your hacking abilities to build a project into the walls of your home? [Marc] used his skills to build an air-powered sliding door for his bedroom. It is similar to the sliding door you’d find on the Enterprise, two sections that slide nicely into the wall to let you pass. Although the picture above shows the internals, he followed through and ended up with a fully finished room that looks fantastic. A compressor in the attic provides the pressure necessary to move the door sections. It is automated, but uses a button press or keypad combination to run instead of detecting motion. Of course, since he’s using a PIC microcontroller to drive the system there’s always room for future changes. Check out how great the finished look is in the video after the break.

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