Introduction: Timeless

About: I'm Utkarsh Kumar Gupta, an engineer, artist, inventor, focused on sustainability issues. My true passion is creating functional products integrated with technology. I'm interested in new technologies and the …

Hello people.....Timeless is a 10'x10' huge art installation giving an impression of a clock showing humans in the form of gears running with time to the endless journey. Its fixed on the ceiling at Storm Bar & Grill, Delhi and doesn't actually shows time but the beautiful motion of gears driving each other as well as the clock needles.

From start to complete installation, this project took about two weeks.
I recently started learning Fusion 360 and also used it here to design and explain some of the fixtures.
I hope you like this Instructable.

Step 1: Materials & Tools

Tools :

  • Drill Machine
  • Router
  • Angle Grinder
  • Bench Grinder
  • Dremel
  • Mitre Saw
  • Circular Saw
  • Jigsaw
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Sander
  • Compass (Drawing Tool)
  • Screw Driver
  • Spanner
  • Laser Cutter
  • 12 mm Spade Bit
  • 25 mm Forstner Bit
  • Pliers
  • Filing Set
  • Welding Machine
  • Soldering Iron
  • Pipe Bending Machine

Material :

  • 2 x 12mm 8'x4' Acrylic Sheet
  • 5 x 19mm 6'x4' Plywood Sheet
  • M12, 4" Length MS Nut Bolts and Washers
  • 29 x 6203-2RS Ball Bearings
  • 1 Meter PVC Plastic Fiber Braided Hose Pipe
  • Loctite Threadlocker 242
  • 12 x Concrete Anchors
  • 2"x2" MS Pipe 28'
  • Self Tapping Screws
  • 10 Meter GT2 6mm Timimng Belt
  • 1 GT2 Pulley
  • 1 x DC Geared Motor
  • 1 x AC Geared Motor
  • 10 Meter Warm White LED Strip 5050 (3 Chip)
  • 2 x 12V DC Power Supply
  • Wires
  • Heat Shrink
  • 2 Channel RF Module
  • 1/2 Kg Wood Putty
  • 2 Kg Paint - Matte Grey
  • 4 x Spray Can - Copper

Step 2: Making the Base Panel

The size of the base to be made for this installation is 10 x 10 feet square and standard plywood size available is 8'x4' and 6'x4' so I brought 5 sheets of 6'x4's and arranged 4 out of them in a way to get final dimension of 10'x10'. Now in this arrangement I left with a 2'x2' empty space in the centre. Here comes the 5th Plyboard sheet out of which I cut out 2'x2' using circular saw.
To join these 6'x4' plyboards with each other I used 4'x1' panels cut out of 5th Plyboard and fixed them with each other using Nut Bolts. Dia of Bolts was 12mm so I used a 12 mm spade bit to drill holes for the same. On every joint, 4 nut bolt sets are used in which 2 are holding one ply and 2 another.
Total 16 Nut bolt sets are used to join these four plyboards together to act as one.
All of this work was done in the yard as my workshop isn't big enough to house this big setup.

In the empty space at centre I fixed rectangular slits in each side using nut-bolt and screws and rested the central panel on it. After joining everything together whole fixture was flipped to get plane side upwards.

Step 3: Gears & Clock Hand

There are 28 gears in this installation. The central one is the driving gear and rest 27 are driven by it directly and indirectly. These are cut in a Laser cutter out of 12mm thick transparent Acrylic Sheet.
4 different sizes of gears are made. Depending on the size, number of tooth in all 4 sizes are 22, 24, 30 and 37 from smallest to the largest one. All the gears have 12mm bore. As all the gears are running in one level by each-other the tooth profile of all the gears is same. Uploaded files are the outline of the gears.

Note - Internal design wont affect the functioning of the gears so any design can be used as long as the weight of the gear stays balanced. If gear becomes unbalanced then it may cause wobbling of gears and disturb the rotational motion of the gear.

Vector files for clock hands are downloaded from Vecteezy.
Attached file contains many designs including the two used in the clock.

Step 4: Ball Bearing Assembly

Ball bearing assembly for circular movement of gear consists of -

  1. 12mm Dia 4" Length Bolt
  2. Washer - Inside Dia 12mm, Outer Dia 24mm
  3. PVC Plastic Fiber Braided Hose Pipe
    Inside Dia - 12mm, Outsie Dia - 17mm
  4. Ball Bearing 6203-2RF
    Inside Dia 17mm, Outer Dia - 40mm, Width Dia - 12mm

12mm dia Bolt is selected as the bore of the gear also is 12mm so its a perfect sized shaft for the gear.

  • I fixed the bolts on the drill press and filed the bolt head from thread side in order to make it plane removing extruded metal. If the bolt end isn't plane it will result in a tilted washer and consequently tilted bearing and tilted gear causing wobbling in final gear movement.
  • After processing the bolt head I put one washer then used PVC pipe as a spacer to keep the bearing in centre as the inside dia of bearing I used is 17mm and nut is 12mm. The pipe turned out to be a perfect fit.
  • After bearing comes two washers and a nut to keep everything in place tight. I also used Loctite 242 Threadlocker while tightening the nuts.
    It protects threads from rust and corrosion and prevents loosening from shock and vibration.

Gears are simply fixed on this set between two washers and tightened on the 12mm bolt with nut that is acting as a shaft for the gear. This is designed in a way such that bearing is fixed in the base and bolt along with the gear is free to rotate.

Extra length of bolts was cut using angle grinder and chamfered using bench grinder.

Step 5: Placement of Gears on Base

  • I started this with making a circle on the base by drilling two holes in aluminium profile, one for Sketch pen and another for a screw with an in between distance of 4'8". Tightened the screw in the centre of the base and used the aluminium profile as a drawing compass. Diameter of final circle drawn - 9'6".
  • I took the gears and placed them inside the circle and after few iterations finalised the positions and marked the centre points on the base for all gears.
  • After marking points I used drawing compass and drew circles of 40mm radius concentric to the marks.
  • To fix the bearing in the base I first made a hole in base using 28 mm forstner bit. This hole is done all the way through the 19mm base. Hole is big enough to ease the rotation of bolt along with washer and nut fixed in bearing.
  • Next I used hand router with a trim bit and routed the 40mm circle with a set depth of 12mm to house the bearing.Now bearing is tight fixed in the routed hole and resting on 7mm thick plywood. (19mm base minus 12mm routed depth).

Note: Drilling hole first will reduce the amount of area left for routing.

These steps are repeated for all 28 gears.

While routing the space for bearings I simultaneously fixed gears one by one and checked the rotation and coordination between the gears driving the centre one manually. This reduced any chance of mistake and assured smooth movement of all the gears in final run.

Step 6: Test Run

Just to check the movement of all the gears I fixed everything on the base and rotated one gear manually.
In this test setup, clock hands are tightened with the shaft of central gear that is why they are moving together with same speed.
The clock hands in the final installation are fixed in different way and are moving with different speeds in opposite direction.

Step 7: Bearing Brackets

Now the bearing sets are enclosed radially and from bottom but can still be moved upwards till this is kept on the floor. While this setup is to be installed on the ceiling upside down. So to completely secure the bearing in the base I made brackets.

  • I used mitre saw to cut out 50 x 50 mm blocks out of 12 mm plywood.
  • Marked diagonals on every block to get centre.
  • Afterwards I used 30mm forstner bit on drill press to drill holes for free, unhindered movement of nut bolt through it.
  • To tighten the brackets on the main base I pre-drilled 4 holes in the corner of the blocks and also countersinked them for self tapping screws.

Note: While drilling bigger holes it's very common for the small workpiece to rotate along the bits. To prevent the blocks from rotating while processing them on drill press I made a simple jig fixing two pieces of plywood adjacent to each other.

Step 8: Gears Pulleys and Main Driving Motor

There are in total 4 pulleys in this installation which are used to rotate the gears and clock hands.
Two pulleys are made out of plywood, two are aluminium out of which one is GT2 Timing pulley commonly used in 3D printers.
For transferring force from driving pulley to driven pulleys I used GT2 timing belt.

Main Motor Pulley

For the central part 12mm plywood is used and to keep the belt on the pulley 3mm plywood circles are used as fence on both sides. I started with making circles on plywood and then did a rough cut out using jigsaw.
Now comes the main step. I fixed the cut out circles on the drill machine and used files and sandpaper to give them perfect round shape and smooth surface.

Central Driven Pulley
Central pulley is a ready made aluminium pulley which I got from a local store. It has a 10mm bore and 12mm was required. So drill press to the rescue.First i drilled four holes in the aluminium pulley and used screws to fix it on a piece of plywood which was then clamped on the drill bench. This was done to prevent the pulley from rotating while drilling a bigger hole in it. Then used a 12mm bit to make the hole.

The main motor that is driving all the gears and hour hand is a 25 watt AC Geared motor with the rated torque of 60 Kgcm from the house of Linix.

Step 9: ​Clock Hand Pulley

Hour hand & Clock hand both are to be tightened on to the central shaft that is also rotating central gear but clock hands are supposed to rotate with different speeds so I came up with an idea to fix another bearing on the clock hand for its independent rotation.

  • Clock hand came up with a hole of 12mm. For bearing a bigger hole was required so I drew a circle of 30mm and used Dremel with sanding band to make the hole bigger.
  • To fix the bearing with the clock hand I took a peice of plywood, drew two concentric circles of 40mm and 60mm Diameter.
  • Then used forstner bit of 35mm (largest available with me) to make a hole and then used Dremel with sanding band and removed all extra wood to get a hole of 40mm dia. In this space I fixed the bearing using mallet as it was a tight fit for the bearing.
  • I then used Jigsaw to roughly cut the outer circle and then fixed it on the drill machine and used sander and smoothed the outer circle. This fixture is performing two functions:
    1. Providing free movement to minute hand irrespective of centre shaft speed.
    2. Acting as a 'driven pulley' for the minute hand.
  • To keep the timing belt on pulley I made another circle in same way but bigger in diameter and fixed it over bearing part.

Step 10: Clock Hand Driving Motor Setup

To rotate minute hand I made this small setup to fix the motor in order to keep some tension in the belt so it wont get loose or slip on the pulley.
Its a simple two part setting out of which one is fixed on the base and the other containing the motor is free to move. For driving the minute hand a small High Torque Johnson DC motor with rated torque of 12 Kgcm is used. The motor is fixed with GT2 Pulley.

Step 11: Installation

  • The whole assembly was disassembled and transported at the site.
  • Base panel was assembled on the floor and then raised to the height where it was to be fixed and then concrete anchors were used to fix it on the ceiling while it was rested on bamboo poles.
  • After the panel was installed putty was filled in the gaps between two panels after which sanding and paint job was done.
  • Bearing sets and gears were then fixed on to the assembly followed by installing circular ring which was five piece bent iron pipe welded at site to make a ring. Six pieces of iron bent in L shape were also welded on the ring through which gypsum screws were drilled right into the base.
  • Main driving motor was fastened on the Iron ring and the Hour hand motor was directly fixed on the base using screws.

Step 12: Lights, Coloring & Connections

  • Ring is painted with black enamel paint using brush and gears are painted in copper using spray cans carefully putting up newspapers behind gears to prevent the base paint (matte grey).
  • On the ring I fixed 5050 Warm White LED Strip. Around 8 meters of strip is used. One strip's length is 5 meters so I used two strips.
  • LED strips are self adhesive so its easy to fix them on a surface. To fix the LED strip cut the LED strip to the desired length. Make sure you cut at one of the cut marks with contacts on them or you will end up damaging the LED Strip.
  • After fixing the LED strip I connected the LED strips together by copper wires.

Note: While connecting two strips make sure you solder positive of one strip to positive of another strip and do same with negative.

  • After connecting LED Strips I connected it 12v power supply with LED and 2 channel RF module in a way such that when main power is ON, the RF module is active and through it one relay turns ON LED and another relay turns on both motors.

I have tried to put all of the build details still if I missed something I will be happy to answer all of the queries in comment section :) I hope you guys like this project and if you do....please vote for this project... :)

Lights Contest 2017

Second Prize in the
Lights Contest 2017

Woodworking Contest 2017

Participated in the
Woodworking Contest 2017