Introduction: Laser Cut Analog Clock

Inspired by the giant clock in the Crocker Galleria in San Francisco, I set out to create an 18" version for hanging at home.  I loved the look of the Roman numerals, and the idea of combining an analog clock with the technology of lasers!  I cut the all pieces on an Epilog laser cutter, but you can use the free files I included for you to make your own using whatever method you prefer.  I made it at TechShop


Crocker Galleria Clock:



I know zero about proper clock making, but I happen to have an awesome Epilog laser cutter at my disposal, so I figured I could come up with some sort of plan that would be acceptable. Using acrylic, wood, and a pre-assembled clock mechanism, I set about to make my own laser cut mini-Crocker clock!

I spent a couple of days bumbling about in Adobe Illustrator to create the file. I created a separate layer for each of the different parts that would need to be cut. (Of course, then I discovered that our laser cutters use Corel, so then I spent an afternoon figuring out how to import all of my layers into that program.)

I didn't document my file-creation process because it would make no sense and just anger you that I would rather doodle around and make a mess instead of actually learning how to use the program correctly. To sum it up, I drew a bunch of circles, and then some lines. Then I merged the lines and circles that made up the numbers ring into one piece. Make sense? Right. Turns out all those little hash mark in the outer part of the number ring are supposed to correspond to minutes. Yeah, mine don't. Not exactly. But, I did include the final file I made, so you can tweak it to your heart's content!

Method:

I cut one large white circle of acrylic to make the base, with a hole in the center for the clock mechanism. Then I cut circles of black acrylic and wood to make the rings.




I adhered the layers of acrylic to each other with Weld-On 3. You have to be super quick about pressing the pieces together after applying the solvent, so work in small batches.




I adhered the wood rings to the acrylic with contact cement. As always with contact cement, I applied a thin layer to each surface and let them dry before pressing them together in place.




The clock mechanism was easy to install. I ordered a high-torque quartz movement and extra large hands to accommodate the size of the clock. The hands could also be designed and cut on the laser cutter for optimal customization.





All I forgot was a secure way to mount the clock to the wall! So for now, it rests on a shelf, looking darn sexy in its own right.

Comments

author
keepintouch made it! (author)2017-04-22

great

author
Scales67 made it! (author)2015-11-07

Amazing clock!!! Thanks so much for being generous and providing instructions.

author
Mezouar made it! (author)Mezouar2016-02-04

Bojour

author
HamiltonArtists made it! (author)2016-01-02

Thank you so much We are new to this we have a Trotec Laser and are looking always for new ideas to make as samples and gifts Thank you again for sharing this!

author
masterURlaser made it! (author)2015-08-12

Beautiful!

author
yasam2002 made it! (author)2013-02-26

Stunning :)

author
k2iran made it! (author)2012-11-15

i love the classical look of big watches, like big ben :D

author
amandaghassaei made it! (author)2012-11-06

this is awesome, I wasn't even aware you were making a clock

author
scoochmaroo made it! (author)scoochmaroo2012-11-06

Yeah, I'm a lot like a ninja in that way.

author
masynmachien made it! (author)2012-11-05

Beautiful!

author
Lindie made it! (author)2012-11-04

Very nice!

author
gmjhowe made it! (author)2012-11-04

Wow, excellent work.

You did a really good job on this one Ed..

wait a minute..

author
scoochmaroo made it! (author)scoochmaroo2012-11-04

Ha!

author
SharadScience made it! (author)2012-11-04

Great job I was trying to do something similar with acrylic but I couldn't get the right color for the acrylic. Ultimately I got desperate and sprayed completely with black; however, it destroyed the acrylic.

author
PitStoP made it! (author)2012-11-02

Nice. Reminds me of the Back To The Future clock in Hill Valley. =)

author
scoochmaroo made it! (author)scoochmaroo2012-11-02

Ha! Maybe that's what I should have called it!

author
askjerry made it! (author)askjerry2012-11-04

Okay scoochmaroo... make a little Doc Brown cutout and attach it to the minute hand with a swivel. (grin)

author
scoochmaroo made it! (author)scoochmaroo2012-11-04

Maybe I need to make another one that lights up from inside!

author
electronixTech made it! (author)electronixTech2012-11-04

That would look great back lit with some LEDs.

author
PitStoP made it! (author)PitStoP2012-11-02

All you need is a good lightning storm and you're all set. =)

author
scoochmaroo made it! (author)scoochmaroo2012-11-02

Well dang, look at that!

back-to-the-future-6-4-08-2.jpeg
author
Jayefuu made it! (author)2012-11-04

Nice work Sarah! Looks stunning.

author
scoochmaroo made it! (author)scoochmaroo2012-11-04

Thank you James :D

author
Don H. made it! (author)2012-11-04

There's an error in it, though...IV is the Roman numeral for 4, not IIII

author
Jayefuu made it! (author)Jayefuu2012-11-04

Clocks use IIII instead of IV. It's tradition:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_numerals#.22IIII.22_on_clocks

author
askjerry made it! (author)askjerry2012-11-04

Very interesting! Here is an excerpt from the link...

"Only the I symbol would be seen in the first four hours of the clock, the V symbol would only appear in the next four hours, and the X symbol only in the last four hours. This would add to the clock's radial symmetry."

Makes sense... looks better and less confusing too.

Thanks!
Jerry

author
scoochmaroo made it! (author)scoochmaroo2012-11-04

Exactly!

author
bpwagner made it! (author)2012-11-04

Very nice clock design. laser cutters are awesome!

author
laxap made it! (author)2012-11-03

Very, very nice.

I so want (easy access to) a laser cutter too!!!

author
captnkrunch made it! (author)captnkrunch2012-11-04

Or come to MakerPlace San Diego.

author
scoochmaroo made it! (author)scoochmaroo2012-11-03

Go win one!
https://www.instructables.com/contest/design2012/
:D

author
liquidhandwash made it! (author)2012-11-03

that is very cool are you able to export a it as a DXF file? thanks

author
Frivolous Engineering made it! (author)2012-11-03

Awesome design! Classic look made with cutting edge equipment.

author
Doone valley made it! (author)2012-11-03

Brilliant and beautiful, like Scoochmaroo herself.

author
scoochmaroo made it! (author)scoochmaroo2012-11-03

Flattery will get you everywhere.

author
bennelson made it! (author)2012-11-03

Very nice design. How much light can that white acrylic pass?

It may be a good material to add a simple backlight to, just like how the BACK TO THE FUTURE clock is lit up.

For some time, I've been thinking about designing a clock for the living room, but I want it back-lit, and double as a night-light.

author
scoochmaroo made it! (author)scoochmaroo2012-11-03

You can get different types of white acrylic, actually. This one is opaque, but here in SF, Tap Plastic offers quite a variety, and you can definitely get one that's more translucent.

author
sjskukana made it! (author)2012-11-03

Beautifully done!

author
kohizer made it! (author)2012-11-02

Beautiful Work!

author
rimar2000 made it! (author)2012-11-02

What a good work! Congratulations.

author
Penolopy Bulnick made it! (author)2012-11-02

That is so beautiful! You did an amazing job on it!

author
scoochmaroo made it! (author)scoochmaroo2012-11-02

Oh, thank you!

author
pjamestx made it! (author)2012-11-02

Looks sharp!

author
scoochmaroo made it! (author)scoochmaroo2012-11-02

Thanks!

About This Instructable

21,105views

257favorites

License:

Bio: Former Living & Food editor here at Instructables, now running Sousvidely.com! Follow me @sousvidely
More by scoochmaroo:Sparkle Unicorn Floof HatPumpkin CarvingAlice In Wonderland
Add instructable to: