I am making a clock that motivates the owner every morning and helps them see an overview of their planned day and upcoming events that they need preparation for. My clock will be made of an erasable material that will help everyone note down and plan their day. This specific clock will be made for my uncle who is in his mid 20s. However, my product can target a range of people, from children ages 8 up to elders to around their 60s and any gender. This is because my clock is a planner-clock, which should help people get organized and live up to their tasks. By adding a special quote or an iconic image will also motivate the owner to keep being productive, happy and hard working. My product will help its owners organize their day by letting them write lists on it. My clock will be made like a photo frame which would allow the owner to change backgrounds and quotes through time which I think is relevant, and effective because we, as human beings change through time. For the clock mechanism, it is required to have a battery and the battery life will die after a few months. I am planning on hanging the clock-planner because I think it helps the owner to concentrate while standing up and writing. The hanging system can be changed during the last finishing touches because it is not something that needs a huge variety of materials and time.
I want to help people find time and manage their time sufficiently because nowadays elders, or more specifically people who work find very little time to spend with their family and friends, as well as spending time on things they love. I know that although there are people who have jobs they love, they stop remembering other things they love or they start to think that they don’t have time. This is why I am making this clock to ensure them that they can have time for other important things in their lives. As mentioned earlier, my product will be basically made of plexiglass sheet, paper, layers of felt, a clock mechanism, string, screws and attaching materials such as acrylic glue and wood glue; all these materials are found in the school as well as the machines that will help me build the planner-clock. *The materials and mechanisms used throughout the process will be listed on the next step.
Step 1: Planning the Process
To start this process, one has to make sure they have access to the following materials and machines. However, my very first step was to sketch my ideas and have a better understanding of what I was making and for what reason. I made thumbnail sketches as shown on the first image, then started developing my idea shown on the second image. I tried different backgrounds, I thought of different sizes, and then got a fantastic idea for it's structure; to hold the different layers together using the basic design of a frame as shown on the third image. So, one needs to analyse and develop ideas before starting making, this is why I also made prototypes using a material similar to cardboard as shown on the fourth and fifth image. However, my final product was quite different to what I had planned for it to be - on the prototype we can see the back of the box being held by these clips, but this idea was not used on the final product for it became unnecessary.
The materials listed below was distributed by my school because this was a design project. I have added some links to websites if one wants to buy online and these were the exactly the same materials used in my product; I think it is best to online only the materials because the machines would be too expensive.
- Felt 3mm (3 layers)
- Felt 4mm (1 layer)
- Plexi-glass/acrylic 3mm (1 layer)
- Clock mechanism (3mm cadrin) and Clock hands *http://ch.opitec.com/opitec-web/articleNumber/102229/zz/cID/c3I6aG9ybG9nZTQ=/p/2
- Some white Paper
- Printer Ink
- A laptop
- Pencil, pens, and colored pens + simple art supplies e.g. scissors
- Laser cutter
- Line Bender
Now, the colors and sizes I had used were based and limited to the size of the laser cutter I had access to and the basic need and reason of my clock. My clock is transparent acrylic, also known as plexi-glass, because the user of my clock should be able to write on it with a marker and still be able to be reminded by something he/she likes through the image displayed behind the acrylic layer. Other than the clear acrylic, I have used no other color other than the background image being stitch in blue with a quote. This is there because blue, stitch and the quote from the movie, are some the favorite things that my owner cherishes. In the 2D design files showed on the in the next expose the sizes I had used to laser cut the acrylic and felt layers. Remember that the files have to fit in the size of your laser cutter and on the surface area of the material being used. The dimensions I had used were around 50 cm * 42 cm. In my product, I used a cadrin of 3mm that can be found on the website line above. The size of one's cadrin depends of the length between the face of the clock mechanism and the outer layer on which the clock hands will be attached to. One can choose whatever color and size for their product as long as it will cooperate with the sizes of other materials.
The time taken to achieve a successful product depends on one's productivity and the time wanted to spend on the product. I had spend more than 7hours of work on it, starting from the prototypes. However, I was not always productive during the lessons, and there were problems occurring, and guidance was difficult due to the number of students and teacher in the class. In the end, everything went well, the product was finished and I had succeeded in my job. However, it is best to do backwards planning to be able to work efficiently throughout the process.
Step 2: 3D Designing and Laser Cutting
After sketching, I designed the two different parts of my clock on CAD files using the 2D Design programme. The first image above is the CAD file representing the basic box with the dimensions I had used. However, I was unable to find the CAD file with the clock engrave on the first image. Just remember to also cut the hole for the clock top to go through and if you would like an engrave of the clock with the 45 degrees angles between the hours. The second image represents the design in which the four pieces of felt were cut into. If you need help with starting designing on the 2D Design programme, it would be best to research and look at videos on youtube.
When I laser cut my work I faced the following problems that are listed below. Hopefully, you can learn from my mistakes and prevent yours.
- I forgot to not laser cut the middle (as shown on the last image above)
- The handles were too thin, so they broke when they got laser cut (also shown on the last image above)
- The clock with the 45 degrees engrave moved before the piece was laser cut therefore the boxes laser cut in the felt were in the wrong place as well. Two of the felt pieces are shown on the third image above.
The solution for the first two problems was to re-laser cut the a new sheet of plexi-glass. For the third problem, I cut new square boxes, which will be shown in the upcoming steps with the clock mechanism in it. The last image above is an image of a laser cutter.
Step 3: Bending the Acrylic
The first image is a line bender. As you can see in the second image, the acrylic was first heated up to become flexible, after 5 to 7 minutes it was flexible enough to be bend and was held strong against a 90 degrees angled area. I held mine against the edge of the table meeting the wall. However, once I faced a problem (although it was during practicing to bend, which one should do if they are new to bending acrylic) which was that the acrylic sheet broke, as shown on the second image. I think it was due to the thin sides and the force put on side while another side of it was getting bent. The last image shows my final product, bent perfectly on all 7 sides.
Another important aspect about bending acrylic or plexi-glass would be safety. One should always be wearing heat proof gloves, their hair tied back if long, their sleeves up and their hands ready to work.
A time and safety tip would be to put the acrylic in cool water with the right angle held strong, for it will make the particles cool down quicker and save time if you have a lot of sides to bend like I did. This tip is not good for people who need very accurate angles because the angle has a possibility of changing while being held by simply the hands, for they move. Thus, if this is your first 90 degrees bend, do not take the risky chance of cooling the acrylic in water.
Step 4: Printing, Gluing and Putting It All Together
Step 5: Final Product Evaluation
I use my product on my desk because it is most useful when I have simple and quick access to it as shown on the first image. The second and third image show the two different methods of how one can use this product to help them built better organizational and time management skills.
Although, the product was put together and worked, an evaluation must be made to ensure that. To reflect the products success and to help the designer learn from their mistakes and improve whilst making better products in the future. I evaluated my work using google survey, send to my target audience. Then I added the improvements suggested in a new list of sketches. Evaluating my work also allowed me to see the positive aspects of my product beside the improvements that need to be made. This helps one to be happy and proud of their creation and to look forward to better designs in the future. So, let me know what you create and how my steps helped you!
- Sarah Shafiq