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Innovative Timekeeping: The Minimal Kinetic Clock

Innovative Timekeeping: The Minimal Kinetic Clock

More Than Meets the Eye

What appears to be a simple piece of white plastic transforms into a three-dimensional timepiece, thanks to the ingenuity of a kinetic clock. With the right lighting, this clock doesn't just tell time—it casts a play of highlights and shadows that turns timekeeping into an art form.

The Maker's Journey

Lukas Deem, a YouTuber known for his craftsmanship, takes us on a detailed journey of creating the Minimal Kinetic Clock from the ground up. His process involves 3D-printed components, an Arduino Mega SoC, and multiple motors and sensors. Each step, from conception to the final touches, is meticulously documented for his audience.

Material Matters

The clock's minimalist and kinetic design required carefully selected materials, including two power supplies for energy efficiency, high-quality white Hatchbox filament for 3D printing, and an array of budget-friendly servos. A real-time clock module was also crucial for keeping accurate time.

A Marathon of 3D Printing

Deem's dedication to precision is evident in the 85-hour 3D printing marathon, a task that demanded patience and attention to detail. The process emphasized the commitment required to bring such a complex design to life.

Challenges in Assembly

Testing and calibrating each of the 30 servos was a necessary hurdle to achieve the clock's precise movements. Powering the Arduino and sensor shield efficiently was another obstacle, leading to the use of two power plugs—a practical, though not perfect, solution.

Design and Refinement

Cable management and a new base design were key to transforming the clock into a polished work of art. Despite the success, Deem acknowledges the clock's noisy servos and the limitations of using hot glue for assembly, which restricts future repairs or upgrades.

Credits and Inspiration

While Deem brought this clock to life, the original design credit goes to Jacky Mok, aka ‘alstroemeria’ on Instructables. For those inspired to build their own Minimalist Kinetic Clock, Jacky's detailed build page is available on the Instructables website.

Broader Horizons in Design

The article touches on other innovative designs, from a pen that solves mathematical equations to affordable alternatives to high-end multitasking tech. It also delves into the cultural nuances of gift-giving and the practicality of everyday items like lacrosse balls for muscle relief, showcasing a wide range of creative solutions in product design.