Have you ever heard of a Digital Sundial? It's quite an interesting piece that would capture your attention. These are devices that help you to tell the time, but unlike your regular watch, they are neither powered by electricity, battery, or mechanical action. Rather, the Digital Sundial helps you tell the time of the day using the sun and a simple instrument. Thus, they are a combination of ancient science and modern technology.

People have been looking for the best ways to tell the time accurately, and the latter has been evident with the creation of different time-telling electronics. However, there is still the old school way around it, and its with the use of Sundials. These objects with markings display the time in digits and they use the position of the sun to determine the time. One of the most remarkable Sundials is that offered by Mojoptix, a French engineer. Let's take a closer look:

Features of the Digital Sundial By Mojoptix

The Digital Sundial by Mojoptix was built algorithmically using OpenSCAD. Here are some of its features:

1. Non-Battery Powered:

Most people would expect a Digital Sundial to actually be powered by battery, however, this is not the case with this device. For starters, it does not operate with batteries, motor, or electronics. Instead, the digits of the clock are displayed in the shadow cast by the sun via the Sundial. According to its designer, it's a "super-fancy shadow show."

2. Time Reading:

This digital sundial can display the time accurately between 10:00 to 16:00. What's even more remarkable is its ability to display the time in sunlit digits. Therefore, you can tell the hour of the day and minutes just by looking at the values displayed in the shadow. On the other hand, the shape of the Sundial has been designed in a way that will ensure that the right sunray passes through the appropriate time/angle.

3. Frequency of Update:

It is also worth noting that the time displayed in the Sundial is updated every 20 minutes, which means you may be unable to tell the actual minute in less than 20 minutes. A video of the Sundial in operation showed the reading of its minutes in the 20s, 40s, 60s, etc. To that effect, you may still have to fall back on your digital wristwatch if you're bent on telling the exact minute of the day.

4. Time Adjustment:

There's also the ability to adjust the time even though this Sundial has been designed to read the time with the help from the sun. But if you'd rather set it yourself, you can proceed to rotate the gnomon, a box that helps to display the time or the edge the reflects the shadow. Accordingly, you can adjust for Daylight Saving Time.

5. Build:

Now, what happens if you'd like to design a Digital Sundial as well, then there's a simple way around it. The designer of this instrument has outlined a list of tools that will enable you to get things underway. What you'll need to get started an empty jam jar, 3x M6 screws, flat head, length = 20 mm; 1x M6 screw, flathead, length = 50 mm; 4x M6 nuts; and 4x M6 washer, outside diameter < 14mm. Since this is an open-source project, you can download the Openscad script and the STL files from the official site.


There may be advancements in technology, however, it is still important to fall back on the tricks of old. One of such is being able to tell the time using the sun, which is what the Digital Sundial offers. It may not feature the same high-end tech, but it can still help you to tell the time conveniently. Moreover, it is easy and inexpensive to set up indoors and outdoors.