Introduction: Laser Cut Clock

About: My name is Randy and I am a Community Manager in these here parts. In a previous life I had founded and run the Instructables Design Studio (RIP) @ Autodesk's Pier 9 Technology Center. I'm also the author of t…

I recently made a bunch of laser cut clocks inspired by the clocks I saw being made by Flat Clock. While I liked the style of their clocks, the $100 price tag was far more than I wanted to spend. Fortunately I have a lot of free time and access to a laser cutter. After spending an afternoon fiddling about in Illustrator, I ended up with my own similar clock designs. The best part is that a single clock cost slightly less than $15 in material and takes almost no time to make. In fact, I had so much fun making the first one that I ended up making five of them to give to friends. Follows is how to make your own.

I made it at TechShop!

Step 1: Go Get Stuff

You will need:

(x1) Ikea Rusch Clock
(x1) 14" x 14" x 1/8" acrylic
(x1) super glue
(x1) Adobe Illustrator (or similar)

Step 2: Create a File

Create a series of cellular shapes using the pen tool. Once you are happy with the number of cells, trace around the outline of all of the shapes also using the pen tool.

Make a 1/4" circle and place it at the center of your clock.

Finally, select all of the paths and join them together by going to:

Object --> Path --> Join

Your file should now be done and ready for printing.

Step 3: Laser Cut

Laser cut your file out of colorful 1/8" acrylic.

If you don't have a laser cutter or access to TechShop, you can use an online service like Ponoko.

Step 4: Take Apart the Clock

Take apart the Ikea clock by first removing the plastic front panel.

Next, pull free the clock hands.

Lastly, free the clock movement (mechanism) from the body of the clock.

Step 5: Drill a Hole

If you are using an Ikea clock movement, drill a 1/8" hole directly through the "Q" in "Quartz" in the back of the movement. This will create a mounting hole that will not interfere with the gears.

Step 6: Put the Clock Together

Super glue the clock movement to the back of the acrylic clock face. Be careful not to get any superglue on the clock shaft. If you do, it will obviously stop spinning.

Put the hands back onto the clock, and insert a battery.

It is now ready to be hung on the wall.

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