Making a Custom Dr. Who Inspired LED Clock

Posted by Trevor Wanamaker on

For a long time, I've been wanting to create a LED clock design for my shop. Johnson Plastics provided the LED components that I needed for the project and I purchased the standoff components so that I could create something unique. I decided to use one of the most intricate designs that I have which is my Dr. Who inspired design.

I felt that this would be the perfect design to use with the blue lighting. I decided to use standoffs for the 3, 6, 9, and 12 positions and blend lines into the design for the remaining numbers. Check out the full video for how to make your own!

Design FIle:

Materials Needed (May Contain Affiliate Links):

TOOLS USED IN THIS PROJECT (May contain affiliate links)

LASER MACHINE SETTINGS

  • Laser specs: 60 watt Epilog Fusion M2 40
  • Engraving: 60% speed, 40% power
  • Vector Cutting: 4% speed, 100% power, 2500 frequency (100%)
  • Engraving time: ~54 minutes

Process for Making Your Own LED Clock

STEP 1:

Download Design File and prepare it for your laser. The design can be scaled to a smaller size if desired.

STEP 2:

Cut a 24" circular backer out of 3/4" black melamine. Apply edge banding if desired.

STEP 3:

Laser cut the 1/4" clear cast acrylic with the masking on. The laser cut layer should be indicated in the design file.

STEP 4:

Peel off the paper masking and laser engrave the design onto the acrylic. Wipe clean with a dry cloth.

STEP 5:

Once the acrylic piece is made, lay it on top of the black melamine backer and mark the hole locations using the hole template from the file.

STEP 6:

Once all of the holes are marked, drill them out.
  • Larger center hole for the standoff, use a 5/16" bit
  • Smaller wire hole, use a 1/8" bit
  • For the clock mechanism hole, use a 5/16" bit

STEP 7:

After holes are marked, put the clock mechanism into the backer and trace the profile of the clock mechanism. Once traced, cut this shape out.

STEP 8:

After the backer has all of the necessary holes and cutouts, attach the X-clip to the back of the backer and assemble all standoffs to the backer using 5/16"-18 fasteners.

STEP 9:

Assemble the clock mechanism to the acrylic piece and lay it on top of the standoffs.

STEP 10:

Take the LED light boards and feed the wires through each of the standoffs and pull the wires through until the LED light board sits flush on the face of the standoff.

STEP 11:

Secure the acrylic pieces using the standoff caps and threaded hardware.

STEP 12:

Flip the entire assembly over and begin to secure all of the wiring.

STEP 13:

Solder all of the gray wires together and connect to the power supply lead wire. I used the black wire. Then solder all of the white wires together and connect to the red wire.

STEP 14:

Test the power supply connection and make sure that all of the LED light boards light up.

STEP 15:

Enjoy your new LED Dr. Who themed clock!

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