Lego Fourteen-Segment Display Needs Plenty Of Motors


Hackers love 7-segment displays, and will gladly wax lyrical about the silly words you can almost spell on them and so on. Less appreciated are their bigger cousins, the fourteen and sixteen segment displays, which get all alphanumeric about things and are thus much easier for humans to read. You can even build the former out of Lego, as [ord] demonstrates.

A look at the mechanism driving the display.

The “segments” are made up of Lego shafts that are pushed up through a yellow matrix of holes when they are switched “on.” A full seven motors are used to make the single-character display work, each one driving two segments. Two Lego Powered Up controller bricks are required to drive everything going on here, making the final design not just mechanically complicated, but electronically complicated as well.

Amusingly, those don’t come cheap, either; the parts total cost of this build is likely somewhere between $50-100 US. You probably don’t want to build an entire scrolling message board using this design, even if it does look resplendent in black and taxi yellow.

We’ve seen [ord]’s work before, too, in the form of these mechanically magnificent 7-segment Lego displays. Video after the break.

[Thanks to Keith Olson for the tip!]


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