I decided sometime last year that I wanted to make a smart watch from scratch. I am an electrical engineer and product designer by day, so this was a fun side project that had been rolling around in my head for a while now.
I decided early on that I wanted a round watch. I’m not a fan of the square or squarcle watches that seem to be all over these days. Something about that shape felt too 1980’s computer-y to me. From a technical point of view, it is definitely easier to make something that isn’t round. Square screens are much easier to come by and have more space to show you more stuff. The reality, however, is I don’t want another phone or computer on my wrist. I just want something to show me important bits of information when I need them. The shape of this particular watch was primarily driven by the screen I ended up using (which can be found in the bill of materials). It is a teardrop shape, where the actual display is round, but there are some additional electronics parts that add to the size. So you can see above, the square parts on the top and bottom where the band connects to the watch are actually there to hide the bottom of the screen.
I have a little cheap monoprice printer here at home, it is awesome for stuff like this. I printed out the two pieces of the housing I designed above out of a woodfill PLA. What that means, is that the plastic I used to print this out, is actually 70% plastic and 30% saw dust. The cool thing about woodfill plastic, is that it behaves very similarly to actual wood. It sands down really nicely and you can stain it with wood stains! The downside to this particular type of plastic is that when it prints, it leaves a stringy mess on the print that you have to clean up. I use a file and some 220 grit sandpaper to get it started.
The project is full open sourced, the repo has all of the build files you need to make your own: – Circuit board files – Schematics – Bill of Materials – All the code – STL files for all the prints, all available on GitHub here.
Eink, E-paper, Think Ink – Collin shares six segments pondering the unusual low-power display technology that somehow still seems a bit sci-fi – http://adafruit.com/thinkink
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