This word clock is different to others. Where the traditional approach is to light up the words in order to spell out a phrase that tells the time, this version has all the letters lit at the same time – but not in focus. Each letter is lit from behind by an RGB LED mounted onto a linear actuator. To display the letter, the actuator brings that letter into focus; to stop displaying it, it moves the LED so that it’s not in focus.
So it’s simple in theory, but in practice, it uses 114 servos, 320 3D-printed parts, a custom PCB for the main electronics, a laser-cut acrylic case, and a whole lot of engineering precision.