The beauty of LEGO bricks lies in the fact that even though they were designed to help recreate life in a miniature scale, they can be used as actual building blocks to make functioning products and working prototypes. We’ve seen loads of examples of these on the site, from the functional orrery that accurately captures how our solar system moves, to something as benign as a working lawnmower that actually features moving plastic blades! LEGO bricks have endless potential and it seems like we’re still just scratching the surface with them, but ever so often we come across an example like this LEGO mechanical calendar that actually lets you change the date by turning a series of dials on its side.
Designer: Sariels Bricks and Pets
The Mechanical Flip Calendar is the brainchild of LEGO builder ‘Sariels Bricks and Pets’ who created this marvel to explore the beauty of bricks to replicate complex mechanical linkages and interactions. Featuring three flip-down elements to represent the month and date, the calendar lets you manually change its display every day by rotating the dials on the side. The flip-down elements include all 12 months as well as all days of the month, with individual yellow rotary knobs on the side that let you adjust each element manually. Meanwhile, a slider on the right side of the calendar also lets you highlight the day of the week, completing the entire calendar experience. The entire process is analog (the date doesn’t change on its own), but there’s a joy to watching how the elements change when you turn the knobs on the side. It’s retro design at its very best.
“There is no mechanical synchronization between days and months to keep things simple, instead there are three knobs with stepper mechanisms, so you can easily move each counter flap by flap,” mentions the designer. “[The calendar] comes in a see-through casing, the flaps are just 3 studs thick and built using 4×4 tiles, so numbers can be easily printed or applied using stickers.”
With over 6,000 votes, the Mechanical Flip Clock is blazing through the LEGO Ideas online forum leaderboard. The purpose of the forum is to allow LEGO enthusiasts to share their own unique builds, which can be voted to the top by other members on the forum. If an entry reaches the coveted 10,000 vote threshold, LEGO’s official team internally reviews the entry before turning it into a box set that anyone can buy! You can cast your vote for the Mechanical Flip Clock here.