FOXIE CLOCK (3D printed case)
What is it?
A colorful, unique clock that looks great anywhere. It's Nixie-like, retro, RGB LED, and Arduino-powered. Capable of being either edge-lit or in PXL mode, it's always fun to look at and starts lots of conversations.
It's retro and modern. Easy to hack, even for a beginner coder. It has a look inspired by vintage audio equipment and classic displays. The Foxie Clock is a fun, colorful way to display the time at your desk, office, or anywhere. Brightness, color, animations, and time are all adjustable directly with 4 buttons on the back. The included PXL mode option also allows using the LEDs to light up in numeric shapes, by swapping between the two included case lids and holding the M button down any time for 3+ seconds.
It's looks great on any desk or shelf, and doesn't take up much space, at less than ~7x3x3" (~180x80x80mm).
All Foxie Clock orders in the USA include free shipping.
How was it created?
A guy by the surname of Fox worked for an amazing company that encourages personal projects every year. The project was to learn how to create a PCB, so he could homebrew an edge-lit acrylic clock similar to a "Nixie Clock." Due to #dadjokes, he combined his last name with Nixie and here we are, for better or worse.
- KiCad for the circuit board design (www.kicad-pcb.org)
- Autodesk Fusion 360 for the case (https://www.autodesk.com/products/fusion-360/overview)
- Original Prusa MK3S 3D printer (www.prusa3d.com)
- Glowforge laser cutter/engraver (Get up to $500 off one of your own with our referral link! - https://glowforge.us/r/PGMNFHOH)
- If it isn't obvious already, a tiny, tiny company is trying to juggle all these things, so please be patient with us!
- Case: 171mm x 63mm x 19mm (6.75" x 2.5" x 0.75")
- Each digit: 24mm x 40mm x 2.0mm (0.94" x 1.57" x 0.08")
All Foxie Clocks include:
- Black 3D-printed case, with rubber feet and 4 bolts
- One 2mm hex wrench
- One laser-cut wood Digit Base for the acrylic digits
- One laser-cut acrylic lid for PXL mode
- One set of 3D-printed stands for using the clock in PXL mode
- One 3' right-angle USB-C cable (yeah, really!)
- 6 sets of acrylic laser-cut digits
- Non-latex gloves (Helps keep acrylic digits clean during assembly)
- 4 rubber feet for the bottom of the case
- Non-latex gloves (Helps keep acrylic digits clean while inserting them into the lid.. and yes, a video showing this process would be amazing, right?).
If you order your Foxie Clock in "Kit" form, there is a very minor amount of soldering necessary to attach the buttons and SparkFun's RedBoard Nano to the PCB, after which the firmware must be loaded using Arduino.
If you order your Foxie Clock "Mostly Assembled", it will only require peeling the acrylic protective film and inserting the digits into the digit lid. Firmware will already be loaded, ready to plug into a USB port to light up your life.
Swapping lids requires a 2mm wrench (included).
Featured on Hackaday.com and Hackster.io
All the source code and design files are completely available at: https://github.com/afoxinsocks/foxie-clock/
This is really pretty cool! Huge props to Foxie Products! It looks like there's a fair bit of thought put into this kit. It's a bit smaller than I thought it would be, but after assembling it, it's a very nice size and I think smaller acrylic numbers also make for brighter numbers; so a good balance of form and function. The PCB is nicely laid out, the 3D printed case fits nicely and looks good, stabilizers for the digits are printed in a flexible plastic (outstanding move), and the stained wood top is a nice final touch. My wife wants me to buy a laser cutter just so she can peel stickers off plastic, so another huge win. We found they could be peeled with fingernails.
A few future things I'd really like to see and may be brave enough to try on my own - an LDR to dim and brighten the digits based on ambient lighting and a temperature sensor with a readout either in the seconds column, or flashed by itself, or temperature corresponding to color (as ideas). My wife wants her own if she can get it in military time (I might be able to do it myself, may need help). A four-digit version would be pretty slick, too.
My clock looks beautiful and Im really happy with my purchase. I would say that it actually looks a bit better in person (It's hard to photograph.) In person the currently lit number is more distinct and its easier to read. Shipping was very prompt, everything showed up in good condition. I ordered a pre-soldered one so I can't say to much about the complete build experience but the documentation looks pretty good and I appreciate that everything is open source. The digits where easy to put on though a little difficult to get (and keep) straight. Sometimes my digits work their way upwards. I really like the wood top panel.
It might be nice to have some sort of alternate use for the seconds counter (or to be able to disable/zero them.) I don't want to count it as a criticism because its a personal thing but sometimes its a bit distracting in my peripheral vision.
Overall I think this is a fantastic project.
Oh man, this is a fantastic product! I found this kit mentioned on Hackaday a few months ago & bought it as a Father's Day gift a number of months ago. My father built a simple nixie-tube-based, tabletop timekeeper/stopwatch back in the late 70's but due to the ever increasing rarity of nixie tubes, along with the heat and maintenance required, it has been retired, only to collect dust on his shelf. To this day, however, he reminisces over their unique construction and function. I've been looking out for a more modern implementation, but most modern nixie products or look-a-likes are far too expensive (and gaudy)... This, on the other hand, is perfect! With cool-running, low-power, brightness-controllable LEDs in a very affordable package, the clock is just as fun and 100x as practical as any nixie tube clock. The kit was straightforward and fun to put together. The instructions were thorough and clear. There was enough work involved to feel proud when I was done but it also wasn't even close to overwhelming. I enthusiastically put it together in a couple hours... Most of the time was spent removing the backing from the acrylic lettering. Its a great kit to work on solo or with family/kids. The end result is unique and attractive enough to put into an office/semi-professional setting (especially with the wood accents) while still clearly looking like a kit.
As others have mentioned, there were some tolerance issues with the acrylic numbers and the positioners (some were too tight while others were too loose), but Foxie Products pointed this out to me as a known issue before I bought it and offered to replace any offending parts that I encountered. It sounds like this is solved on newer kits, but, to be fair, the small imperfections add to the homemade value of this kit. Everything (except the PCB) is handmade by Foxie Products as far as I know. Speaking of Foxie Products, the man behind the curtain is truly a top-notch guy. He went out of his way to answer any questions I had (including some questions outside the scope the project itself) and made it clear that if I had ANY issues, he'd be there. The passion he has for this project shows in many forms.
Anyway, long story short, my dad now has it up on his desk, running 24/7, and keeping time. He absolutely adores his Foxie Clock, and it not only was entertaining for me to put together but solidified my position as world's best son! Can't get much better than that! Looking forward to future products from you. :)
I like the notion of this clock. The nixie-like display is pretty cool. Assembly was easy, but understandably laborious, particularly the removal of the paper protecting the digits. I found what I thought was a easier way to remove the paper more quickly, and updated the instructions as such. That, incidentally, was my very first ever git pull request to make a main line change!
Soldering the board was uneventful, but some time was spent in cutting the leads to the buttons to minimize their height.
Once all the paper was removed from the digits, placing the digits into the top cover was simple. But, here's where issue lies. There's nothing to hold the digits into the top cover. There are three 3D printed straighteners to line the digits up, but some of the slots (where the digit goes) were really tight, causing me some concern about breaking them. And the straighteners, while they hold the digits in place fairly, there's nothing to hold them to the top cover. I would like to see a piece of clear acrylic that goes over the top of the digits to hold them down and in place. It seems that any movement of the clock causes some of the digits to move. I would also like to see another set of the straighteners, in clear plastic, to place atop the digits to help hold them in place.
But, all in all, I like the clock. Everyone who has seen it finds it interesting, and it is bright and easy to read from a distance.
The display of the glowing acrylic numbers is really beautiful. I have built various other clock kits such as a VFD clock, Nixie, pong clock, LED arrays, etc., but this is the most beautiful. It's very easy to solder because there are only a couple things to do, but the peeling of the paper off the acrylic made up for that. I'm looking forward to more animations and fancier display over time from the open source firmware. If you buy one clock kit this year, this should be it.