The machines. They are learning. The Plotclock is a small, 3D-printed clock that forgoes the traditional gears and springs for servos and an Arduino microcontroller. It writes the time. And then erases it. Then writes the time again, continuing forever even though the white board will quickly descend into a smudgy mess of partially erased ink.
It’s a simple device: One servo lifts the pen from its dock while the other two controls the arm movement. The instructions are served from an Arduino single-board microcontroller. The rest is magic.
As 3ders points out, all the files for the Plotclock are available on Thingaverse and GitHub. You can make this small device yourself or parlay it into a larger display that uses massive arms and a classroom-sized white board and sell it to some startup for part of their seed money.
More projects like these will appear as the price of 3D printers and microcontrollers drops. The consumer electronic market is quickly becoming a maker’s paradise thanks to the rise of small-scale manufacturing. No longer do aspiring makers have to turn out shoddy prototypes handcut with a Dremel. Near-production-ready models can now be printed and assembled in basement workshops. The future is here.