Nov 25, 2016 | By Benedict

Remember the out-of-this-world supermoon we experienced last week? Experience it again, every night, with this 3D printed lunar phase clock. Thingiverse user G4lile0 made the device with an Arduino, OLED display, and 3D printed moon face.

Last week’s supermoon madness seemed to get half the world talking about the moon, our planet’s only permanent natural satellite and a place once visited by astronauts aboard the Apollo 11 spacecraft. Capitalizing on that wave of lunar interest is G4lile0, a Thingiverse user who has made a nightstand-friendly, 3D printable lunar phase clock. The unusual device offers a precise lunar simulation through lighting effects, as well as an alarm, thermometer, hygrometer, and other useful features.

To design and print his 3D printed clock, G4lile0 used a selection of open-source tools, including FreeCAD and Ultimaker’s Cura slicing software, eventually fitting the device with a custom-programmed Arduino, 0.96″ OLED display (for the date and time), and other electronics such as an RTC module, a DTH11 sensor, a buzzer, and push buttons. The cool clock is therefore highly multifunctional, and can be recreated by anyone with a few dollars to spare and access to a 3D printer or printing service.

In order to faithfully recreate the phases of the moon, G4lile0 used an APA102C strip of 18 LEDs, carefully arranged behind the 3D printed moon face. These LED each alight according to the time and placement of the sun and Earth, quickly and accurately showing whether to expect a moon that is full, crescent, gibbous, waxing, or waning. The 3D printable lunar phase clock could therefore prove especially useful for those susceptible to the supposedly mood-altering effects of the celestial orb. Werewolves, for example.

To get the 3D printed parts of the lunar phase clock just right, G4lile0 recommends printing with a layer height of 0.2 mm, wall thickness of 1 mm, top thickness of 1 mm, and bottom thickness of 0.2 mm. The moon part itself requires an infill density of 0%, while the rest of the parts should be printed at 100%. G4lile0 used a Prusa RepRap 3D printer for the clock seen in the images and video.

Our personal favorite feature of the 3D printed moon clock is its totally un-functional “relax” and “party” modes. When users select this option through the clock’s push buttons, the moon abandons its realistic lighting effects and turns into a kind of disco lamp, complete with vivid, alternating colors from the LEDs. If only the real moon did the same, it give a whole new meaning to the term “supermoon.”

3D printed parts and a complete component list can be found at Thingiverse, while the Arduino code has been published on GitHub.



Posted in Fun with 3D Printing



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