3D Printed Mechanical Clock

The rise in 3D printers and the move towards semi-consumer level models, such as MakerBot Replicator 2, opens up a wealth of opportunity to build everyday items. With a Replicator 2 in the corner of the office here at CASA, University College London, we thought we would try to print a weight powered 3D clock. There are a number of sites online that provide plans or kits for wooden clocks, often aimed at CNC type machines or simply scroll saw cutting out of the individual cogs. A key site is woodentimes.com, the clock we have printed is a modified version of the Septimus.

Replicator 2 Printing Cogs

Replicator 2 Printing Cogs

The parts were created in the free version of SketchUp, via a DXF plan and exported to .stl for import into MakerWare. 3D printing is still a hit and miss affair, we printed each part out individually to minimise the risk of any printing errors on the replicator.

3D Printed Parts

3D Printed Parts

In general, printing in the centre of the replicator reduces any errors, we also added a raft to each cog and printed at 100% to increase the strength of the final print. Each cog took approximately 2 hours to print with the frame sections 3 to 4 hours.

3D Printed Clock

3D Printed Clock

The complete clock took 4 days to print, it runs on an 600g weight and requires winding every 48 hours – the clip below details the completed 3D printed clock:

 3D printing opens up any number of possibilities, at the moment it is still slightly experimental and creating the clock was a process of trial of error, especially in terms of the 3D printer settings. The ability to load up SketchUp, model an item and have a 3D printed version in a few hours still fills me with wonder though….

Author Bio

Andy is Director of the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at University College London and Professor of Digital Urban Systems.

17 Comments

  1. Mooi: Een klok uit de 3D printer - September 15, 2013

    […] kan zitten. En beter nog dan dat: het zelf maken van zo’n uurwerk. Schitterend toch? Zie dit bericht voor meer […]

  2. Kae woei - September 16, 2013

    Wow this is impressive. Great work. Will you be sharing the print file with the 3d printing community? I would love to attempt to print this for my living room.

    • Andy - September 16, 2013

      The site woodentimes.com have dxf files – i cant upload them due to copyright but i have put a post on thingiverse with some details. The only main modification was to the main front so it would fit on the printer bed.

      • Jonni - January 14, 2014

        Could you possibly link me to your files on Thingiverse? This is an incredible model. It states here that the files were modified before printing. Even if I was to purchase their files from the website, I wouldn’t have the first clue about how to modify them into a working clock (I’m fairly new to the 3D printing scene) The only clocks I seem to be able to find on Thingiverse are theoretical, work in progress models whereas this is amazing and functional.

  3. John Biggs - September 16, 2013

    where did you get the object files?

  4. Созданы 3D печатных механические часы | Все о 3D принтерах и 3D печати в Украине и в мире - September 16, 2013

    […] опубликовал хорошие функциональные 3D печатные часы с маятником на этой неделе. Часы созданы с использованием […]

  5. Video: MakerBot Replicator prints a 3D mechanical clock | Bits & Pieces from the Embedded Design World - September 16, 2013

    […] “There are a number of sites online that provide plans or kits for wooden clocks, often aimed at CNC type machines or simply scroll saw cutting out of the individual cogs. A key site is woodentimes.com, the clock we have printed is a modified version of the Septimus,” Hudson-Smith explained in a University blog post. […]

  6. Un orologio perfettamente funzionante creato con la stampa 3D | Stampalo3D - September 18, 2013

    […] ha pubblicato un bel  orologio totalmente funzionate e stampato in 3D questa settimana (vedi qui). L’orologio è realizzato con progetti modificati da woodentimes.com e stampato su […]

  7. Dmitry K Valberg - September 18, 2013

    How about sharing the 3D files for others to print and try?

    • Andy - September 18, 2013

      The plans are from DXF files from woodentimes.com (good value) – if you go there you can purchase them but i am unable to put them online as they are obviously copyright…

  8. Wink Online Solutions » 15 of the best 3D-printed items from 2013 - November 6, 2013

    […] Andy Hudson-Smith and team, of The Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at the University College London, discussed the design and construction process of building 3D printed mechanical clock on their blog. […]

  9. 15 of the best 3D-printed items from 2013 - November 18, 2013

    […] Andy Hudson-Smith and team, of The Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at the University College London, discussed the design and construction process of building 3D printed mechanical clock on their blog. […]

  10. The 9 Coolest 3D Printed Creations Of 2013 | SF Gazette - December 25, 2013

    […] Minimalist Mechanical Clock. The components of this clock took the designers at The Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial […]

  11. Ever Heard Of 3D Printing?… The 9 Coolest 3D Printed Creations Of 2013 | RISE NETWORKS - December 27, 2013

    […] 4. Minimalist Mechanical Clock. The components of this clock took the designers at The Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at University College London four days to print, and the clock needs to be wound every other day, but this cool timepiece is composed entirely of printed materials and keeps accurate time. All the moving parts are a great demonstration of the high degree of accuracy that can be produced by 3D printers. […]

Leave a Reply