Introduction: Pictowatch

This is the result of a project in collaboration with Ergotherapy students. Our clients was a middle aged man with a severe case of autism in combination with a mental dissorder. Our task was to redesign a pictowatch, he has been using for many years. the concept of the watch is not to show the time but to insert chips with pictograms on. These pics help him remind what he is doing or what he has to do. For example, when het wakes up he goes downstairs to a metal board with all the pics (read: activities) of that day. He takes the first one which shows a mes, fork and a plate. That means he needs to get some breakfast.

As I already mensioned, our job was to redesign the watch, make it more userfriendly and give it an newer look.



-3D Printer


-pillar drill



-PLA filament

-3 mm thick Plexiglass

-0.5 mm thick metal sheet

-Putty spray (spray filler)

-Colour spray for plastics(, metal and wood)


-1 mm thick metal wire

-0.5 mm thick aluminium

- Magnet (diameter: 10 mm)

Step 1: Modeling

Step 1:

-Download the STL file.

-Import the file into the 3D print software you are using.

-Save the part to be printed (.gcode)

Step 2: Step 2: Sanding and Painting

Step 1: Putty spray

The first step in this part of the proces is making the body (3D print) ready to be sanded.

We will do this by spraying the putty spray on the body. Make sure every bit is covered in the spray.

When everything is covered we let it rest for 30-60 minutes until it is hard enough to be sanded.

Step 2: Sanding

Sand the part until the whole body feels smooth. It might show some surface of the 3D print but that doesn't matter as long as it feels smooth.


Step 3: next step: push the magnet in the hole on the backside of the watch. Friction will hold it in place.

Step 4: Spraypaint.
The final step is to spray te whole piece. To avoid, having support stains, you best pin the part with some steel wire. In this way, you'll be able to paint the whole body at once.

Step 3: Step 3: Making the Picto's

For this part of the project, you will need the metal sheet of 0.5 mm, the pillar drill, hole saw of 36 mm, super glue, plexglass and a lasercutter.

Step 1: Lasercutting

-Download the illustrator file. Next, you will connect with a lasercutter, either through you own computer or a computer stationed at the lasercutter itself. Set the settings to 3 mm, acryl en print the file.

-While the lasercutter is cutting up the plexiglass, get the metal sheet and the hole saw. Saw steady and calm. Cut as many cirkels as the lasercutter. around 72 that is.

afterwards, sand the metal disks so you don't damage the plexiglass.

Step 2: Paint the plastic disks.

Step 3: When the paint on the plastic disks is dry, it's time to glue the two together.


Optional: as an extra feature you can cut out a piece of aluminium to stick to the bottom. It has a nicer touch and weakens the magnetic field at the bottom of the watch which makes it have less of attraction to the wristband.

Step 4: Last Step: Mounting Wristband and Using De Pictos.

Last step:

As the final part, mount the wristband to the watch by putting the metal wire through de holes. Make sure that the wires also goes through the wrist band. When the twoo pieces of wire are placed, put some superglue in the holes.

Put in the Picto's and get started!