I’ve been wanting a work clock for a while. It’s a lot of work, but when Johan had seen one for sale, I took up the idea of building it myself again.

I started by printing what it would look like on paper:

I used a Ribba frame from Ikea as the base. At the back I mounted 12×12 LEDs in rows of 12, and the LEDs shine through the front where there are holes for the letters that make up the words that tell the time.

One thing I struggled with was to make sure the LEDs don’t shine through to the neighbouring letter. This is what took the most time during the construction. I started making a matrix from thick paper:

As you can see it was not a success.

Lots of iteration later I finally made a matrix that was working:

However, the white reflected light too much, lighting up adjacent squares. Using black paper, I lined each square, and that solved the issue.

First I thought I’d use black plastic for the front. But after looking into it, I really liked the look of brass. I created a cad file, and sent it off to be laser cut.

The final result:

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