Introduction: Laser Cut Analog Clock

Picture of 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!


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.


keepintouch (author)2017-04-22


Scales67 (author)2015-11-07

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

Mezouar (author)Scales672016-02-04


HamiltonArtists (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!

masterURlaser (author)2015-08-12


yasam2002 (author)2013-02-26

Stunning :)

k2iran (author)2012-11-15

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

amandaghassaei (author)2012-11-06

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

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

masynmachien (author)2012-11-05


Lindie (author)2012-11-04

Very nice!

gmjhowe (author)2012-11-04

Wow, excellent work.

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

wait a minute..

scoochmaroo (author)gmjhowe2012-11-04


SharadScience (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.

PitStoP (author)2012-11-02

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

scoochmaroo (author)PitStoP2012-11-02

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

askjerry (author)scoochmaroo2012-11-04

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

scoochmaroo (author)askjerry2012-11-04

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

That would look great back lit with some LEDs.

PitStoP (author)scoochmaroo2012-11-02

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

scoochmaroo (author)PitStoP2012-11-02

Well dang, look at that!

Jayefuu (author)2012-11-04

Nice work Sarah! Looks stunning.

scoochmaroo (author)Jayefuu2012-11-04

Thank you James :D

Don H. (author)2012-11-04

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

Jayefuu (author)Don H.2012-11-04

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

askjerry (author)Jayefuu2012-11-04

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.


scoochmaroo (author)askjerry2012-11-04


bpwagner (author)2012-11-04

Very nice clock design. laser cutters are awesome!

laxap (author)2012-11-03

Very, very nice.

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

captnkrunch (author)laxap2012-11-04

Or come to MakerPlace San Diego.

scoochmaroo (author)laxap2012-11-03

Go win one!

liquidhandwash (author)2012-11-03

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

Frivolous Engineering (author)2012-11-03

Awesome design! Classic look made with cutting edge equipment.

Doone valley (author)2012-11-03

Brilliant and beautiful, like Scoochmaroo herself.

scoochmaroo (author)Doone valley2012-11-03

Flattery will get you everywhere.

bennelson (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.

scoochmaroo (author)bennelson2012-11-03

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.

sjskukana (author)2012-11-03

Beautifully done!

kohizer (author)2012-11-02

Beautiful Work!

rimar2000 (author)2012-11-02

What a good work! Congratulations.

Penolopy Bulnick (author)2012-11-02

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

Oh, thank you!

pjamestx (author)2012-11-02

Looks sharp!

scoochmaroo (author)pjamestx2012-11-02


About This Instructable




Bio: Hello!
More by scoochmaroo:Halloween FoodSparkle Unicorn Floof HatPumpkin Carving
Add instructable to: