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A tribute to seven-segment numeric displays

We see them countless times during the day, in clocks, car dashboards, video games, timers, stopwatches, service station price boards and more. Some people see beauty in the simplicity of the seven-segment display, and technologist Simon Schoar celebrated this with his own mechatronic tribue.

Using a lot of laser-cut acrylic, an Atmel ATmega8 microcontroller, real-time clock circuitry and a lot of servos, Simon has created a four-digit, seven-segment display with a colon which acts as a digital clock. When all the segments are off – the display is smooth, and to create the numbers a small block is pushed out by a servo to give the appearance of a segment. So when more than one are used, the numbers can be formed. Watch the clock in action during the following video:

 

 

It truly is poetry in motion, and one of those displays that truly mesmerise. However like anything else, it is not unobtainable. Simon has included all the design files required to create your own. So get yourself a lot of acrylic and a friend with a laser-cutter, then click here: http://www.schoar.de/tinkering/sevenblocks/

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