Splitflap v0.5/v0.6/v0.7 Assembly


Please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions on how to improve these instructions - either leave a comment inline below (need to be logged into Dropbox to do so, I believe) or else email me directly at scottbez1 at gmail.com.

Building a split-flap display? I would love to hear from you and see photos/videos of your project in progress or completed! This project has been a hobby of mine for a few years and the coolest part by far is hearing from other people making their own and seeing them in action. Feel free to shoot me an email at scottbez1 at gmail.com 🙂 or, join the new Slack group, to share and discuss with the wider split-flap community! (it’s still new, so it may be a bit quiet, but don’t be shy!)

1. Gather the parts

See +Ordering Splitflap v0.5 for info on ordering parts

  • 1 Controller PCB
  • 4 Sensor PCBs
  • 4 Magnets
  • components for controller and sensor boards

  • 4 laser-cut panels
  • 2 letter sticker packs
  • 4 motors
  • 4 sensor cables
  • ~165 flaps (160 are necessary)
  • ~46 M4 bolts (44 are necessary)
  • ~46 M4 nuts (44 are necessary)

  • Arduino Uno
  • 12V 2A Power Supply

  • Tools:
  • Metric hex key
  • Soldering supplies
  • Calipers or metric ruler
  • Hobby knife
  • Plastic wrap and glass storage container (For applying letter stickers)
  • [if hand-cutting flaps] Badge slot punch 

2. Sensor PCB Assembly

The rough steps are:
  • solder 90-degree pin headers *from the top side* (0:21)
  • bend leads on hall effect sensor 90 degrees (2:00)
  • insert hall effect sensor from the back side of the PCB (opposite the pin headers) (2:45)
  • adjust hall effect sensor so there's a ~5.8mm gap between the back of the sensor and the PCB (3:00)
  • solder the hall effect sensor in place (3:30)
  • clip off excess pin length (4:24)

3. Mechanical Assembly

Note: if using acrylic rather than MDF/wood, do not force parts together if they don’t quite fit. Acrylic is extremely brittle and will crack. Use a small file if necessary to remove any excess material. While the design attempts to achieve a tight fit, different laser-cutters may remove more or less material, so undersized holes/slots can occur.
The rough steps are:
  • separate laser-cut parts (0:12)
  • remove protective film (0:34)
  • Spool:
  • put together spool struts (1:31)
  • attach bolt+nut to spool retaining piece (2:16)
  • insert spool struts into spool disk (2:50)