Laser Cut Clock Reminds Us Of A Spirograph

[Brian] from Louisville’s LVL1 hackerspace sent in this laser cut gear clock that’s almost unlike any other clock we’ve seen before. [Brian] also put up a wonderful Instructable for his build.

Since LVL1 got a better laser cutter a lot of neat projects have been piling up. [Brian] based his clock around two cheap stepper motors driven by a freeduino. A chronodot was used to keep accurate time. Making the gears, though, presented a few problems. While prototyping the gear clock face, it was apparent that the numbers should be oriented along a line coming from the center of the gear. The prototype also used 100 teeth and that didn’t translate well into a clock design. [Brian] designed the minute gear with 60 teeth, and the hour gear with 144 teeth so that each tooth would equal 5 minutes.

[Brian]’s clock is functionally similar to this $2500 gem, and certainly much less expensive even after the cost of the laser cutter is taken into account. Of course, the Spirograph clock keeps track of minutes so it may be worth upwards of $5k.

Computer Aided Cake Decoration

This contraption lets you decorate your cake at the push of a button. It’s a stretch to call it computer aided as this is purely a mechanical monster, but we still enjoy the apparatus and see its CNC potential (we’re still waiting for that pizza printer to hit the market too). An icing syringe has been modified with a flexible hose on the business end. As constant pressure is applied to the plunger, the nozzle oscillates while the cake rotates. What results is a spirograph drawing on the top of your dessert. But the fun doesn’t stop there. Another push of the button and you get shiny silver orb candies joining in the party.

What, no video? Aw! If you know where to find a clip, let us know and we’ll update this post.

[Thanks Mowcius]

Spirograph Generator

The Agnewgraph I can turn out a pretty nice Spirograph drawing. Instead of relying on meticulously acurate CNC hardware, it uses a Spirograph stencil similiar to that business card we’re so fond of. The key to the [Mpark’s] design is an analog joystick which is attached to the pen. As the pen follows the plastic guide around, a Propeller microcontroller calculates the angle of travel based on that joystick. These measurements are used to decide how to move the two stepper motors that provide horizontal and vertical motion to the frame. We’ve attached a video after the break just in case our rough description didn’t do it for you.

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RGB Laser


Last month we had the pleasure of bringing you [FireMyLaser’s] green laser spirograph. Just green is great for a while, but why not add red and blue for a full spectrum of color! [c4r0] steps in at this point to bring us his red green blue laser. He dug around inside Blu-ray players and DVD drives until he had a collection of lasers, refractors, and other filters that fit his needs. With some careful toothpick alignment and glue, his setup was complete.

But then he went further by modified his galvo scanner to accept the RGB laser; requiring a custom circuit board and new software, both available on his site. The original is in Polish, but Google does a decent translation. Check after the jump for a video.

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