This is the continuation of my Adjustable 60 WS2812 LED ring / circle / clock holder: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3121024 ...
A CLOCK FACE!
The LED illumination looks a LOT better in person; I find it quite difficult to show what it looks like in photographs and video, but I'll try.
October 13, 2018 -
Updated previous renders due to a bug I discovered in the code that was generating some parts that were meant to snap together as the exact same size, which I discovered after printing some. Since that happened, I changed the LED track edge width from 3mm to 1.2mm and I decided to raise the backing where the numbers sit to match the thickness of the LED cover 'light diffuser' for a cleaner overall look and to make the outer border unnecessary and a more practical design for printing the numbers in another colour on a single colour machine by pausing at the layer the numbers start since they are the highest. Another small change I made is the alignment of the wiring hole, and an increase of the size of the wiring channel. If the hole aligns with the 6, the LED is not aligned with it, so it needs to be 2-3 degrees ccw in order to allow for the LED alignment, so it's on an angle that allows the wire to still exit the clock below the 6.
The outer diameter is 220mm, so the generated STL should print on a similarly sized printer to mine, or simply customize it for your size printer, that's why it's customizable.
October 17, 2018 -
Finally found some time to put a clock sketch in an Arduino and test out the circle of LEDs... Sadly one of the quarter sections is junk, half the LEDs aren't working, so gonna have to order another set... in about 3 months I'll be able to possibly build the clock. At least for now I can see that the concept and software works and get the parts printed with the colours they are supposed to be.
The green PLA was surprisingly effective at blocking red, so a neutral, like white, gray or natural (clear) will be the better options. I am currently using a white 3mm 20% fill light diffuser and it allows quite a bit of light to pass, with a pretty nice looking grid pattern from the infill. A solid diffuser makes it a bit more subtle.
The Arduino sketch I'm using is from "Rise and Shine Infinity Clock" that I found on YouTube. It uses a rotary encoder (with switch) to control it and set the time, and an RTC module to maintain accurate time (mine didn't come with the re-chargeable battery as it should, so it won't keep time during a power loss, but theoretically it is supposed to). Guh, eBay.
October 22, 2018 -
Truly a work in progress... printed a couple diffusers, and decided to add a secondary "display" diffuser part that sits above and over top of some of the clock face backing to visually position the LEDs in the middle of the ring...
Also discovered another code glitch... The numbers weren't actually connected to the backing, so they would print but have poor adhesion because of a skipped layer... you may have noticed the 1 fell off my test print... and now it makes sense why! If you happened to download those 1.2 STLs, have a close look between the numbers and backing!
Last night I decided to add a ring of 60 numbers for over top of the LEDs. No matter what, it adds a LOT of complexity to the final product that has the numbers, so definitely won't be "on" by default, but if I decide to include it there will be 2 options - embossing into the display part, or a thin ring that can go in between the 2 diffusers. The embossed numbers could be filled in with black paint to make them stand out... or simply printing the numbers in black ink or toner on paper or clear acetate, cut and sandwich between the two diffusers... It may turn out to look really annoying since the hours LED will be showing the min/sec number as well... we will see.
November 3, 2018 -
Lots of fine tuning and double checking before generating the replacement STL files. I haven't printed them yet, but they are in the queue. I went all out and added a frivolous LED circuit board and an exploded view so all the parts make some sense since there are a few with the options available... I printed an interim curved display part that had embossed numbers on the back of it and they would need to be painted to be visible from the front, so much more work than I intended... Seems to make more sense to emboss the top of the display part with numbers, that way they will be visible but still subtle. Both a blank and numbered version are here to download. The edges are now 1.5mm ... while 1.2mm edges looked nice and was strong enough to not break like 1.0mm did, it was still a bit too thin feeling. The numbers ring is an option that could be printed with great difficulty on a 3D printer or easily using a normal paper printer, but I'm not even sure it'll look good like that. Nothing for download with it yet, but you can play with it in customizer or download OpenSCAD and the SCAD file to export as files other than STL.
I have hacked the Arduino code as well to make more suitable brightness levels for the normal clock operation. It's 'Alarm' function is supposed to wake you up by using all the LEDs to 'shine' you awake, but the hours, minutes and seconds (and other) LEDs were just as bright, so they are now set with most modes displaying more a more subtle brightness, and a few with full brightness and a few with almost none. Since the control consists of a rotary encoder with button, it's easy to spin the knob and change the mode. It would be nice to have a schedule set up for changing modes automatically based on time or have it read the brightness of the room to know what mode it should use.
Another addition that will need to be programmed in this project is the control box. I think a version that can go on the wall and a version that would sit on furniture makes the most sense. A fun thing to do as a kid's clock version would be to make a mount for the rotary controller right in the middle of the clock with a big 'wheel' knob. It shouldn't be too difficult to conceal the controlling circuitry there as well, or make a 'desk clock' style base that plugs into the wiring hole for it to sit on.