Clock Box

This project is an exercise in both art and engineering. Clock Box is a digital LED-lit clock using an Arduino Mega 2560 microcontroller, a real-time clock chip, slide potentiometers and analog buttons. The chassis is made from walnut and mahogany with various parts and buttons in aluminum, brass. and copper.

 

 

For the past few years I have been working on teams that create, define, design, engineer and develop user interfaces and other software that power targeted consumer electronics. With that environment as a catalyst, I decided to create and manufacture a one-off product — soup to nuts. It would be a product that did not have the requirements and boundaries that exist in so many consumer-facing products. A product that had an analog interface without a typical mass-produced wiz-bang touch screen. Clock Box is a work in progress and I will be adding functionality and conceptual information as I progress.

The videos above document the hands-on creative process of fabrication, assembly and various problem-solving techniques. They capture the artistry of “figuring it out.” The videos fail to capture some of the most important parts of the project, however. They can’t show the process of getting the idea out of the head and onto paper, all of the planning, fitting, testing, visualizing, measuring, sourcing of parts and tools, coding, reading, seeking, shopping, tutorials, prototypes, tests, failures, and on and on. And that’s too bad because I find those parts just as enjoyable as the physical creation of the piece.