In our Design class, we have been doing a project called "Don't Waste Time". The goal of this project is to create a clock which has not been available in the market yet, which solves a problem.
My clock idea is a vocabulary and organizational clock, so it is a multi-functional clock. As you can see from the images above, there are holes in between the layers of the clock between each number, and in those numbers, I have created little pieces of pizza-slice-shaped cards with the vocabulary words, the definition, and an example in a sentence. Of course, you can customize your own vocabulary to different languages, and I ensure you, they do not fall out as they are not behind every single number. Hence, every hour, you can go to your clock, and take out a piece of card and learn the vocabulary word. You can keep the same ones for a couple of days and look at it every day so that you memorize them.
Furthermore, the second part to my clock is the whiteboard, made out of acrylic. You can write with any whiteboard pen on acrylic, and this comes with a pen, eraser, and color-coordinated magnets. As you can see, there are little pieces of wood on the left side of the whiteboard (which says "TO-DO LIST"), and with a whiteboard pen, you can write a task on a line, and according to that color, take the magnet of that color and put it anywhere on the clock where you want to complete the task. This ensures that you have set goals for the day, and helps your organize, and even prioritize, your work. Additionally, it is a fun way of learning, and the age range is from roughly 10 - 18 years old, as from my survey which I sent out to children, they have the most trouble learning vocabulary and organizing themselves.
Throughout this intructable, I will explain in detail all the steps which lead me to this final product, and this product includes materials such as plywood, acrylic, and magnet sheets.
Tune in and you can make your own too!
NOTE: This clock is using an existing clock mechanism and existing hands made for the clock mechanism from Opitec. The mechanism coil is 17 mm, and the mechanism's dimensions are 55 x 55 x 15 mm.
Step 1: Sketches and CAD Files
I made Sketches in 3D and 2D to explore different possibilities, as well as to help visualize what my clock could look like. The first images is one of my older sketches, when I wanted to make my clock circular, however, there were some complications, and the remaining sketches are of my final design. However, in the last image of my sketches, which is the one of the acrylic whiteboard, on the second sketch on that picture, I discarded my idea where I place a little magnet holder, due to the lack of time. Though, if you have more time, you can make that.
Before manufacturing the clock and gluing pieces together, I had to design what I was going to print. Above I have presented you with my CAD Files which were made on the software TechSoft 2D Design. I printed them with the laser cutter on either plywood or acrylic.
The blue outline is to cut, the red is to engrave, and the green is to deep engrave.
Step 2: Painting the Acrylic Whiteboard
Once I printed the CAD Files for the Acrylic Whiteboard, I took the sheet of 3 mm white acrylic (I chose white so that you can easily see the writing on it), as seen from the first and second images, and since I engraved lines onto the piece of acrylic, I decided that to make them more visible, I would go over them with crayon. You can do it with any color, but I just chose black for the simplicity of it. You have to color on the engraved lines a lot and make sure that there are no spaces. Although it may look messy and permanent, you can remove the crayon piece very easily. After you finished filling in the engraved lines, take a tissue and wet it a tiny bit, so that it is damp, but not dripping. Then simply rub on the acrylic piece and it will remove. The final look is on the fourth image, and as you can see, it is very neat.
From the printed CAD Files, I printed 2 layers of 3 mm thick plywood which have the outline of the tabs and the whiteboard combined, as well as 3 mm thick tabs. I printed separate tabs out so that I could paint them individually in different colors with ease, as well as to ensure neatness. Furthermore, I printed 2 layers of the entire outline so that the whole whiteboard will be thicker, and stand out more, and also to make it easier to glue the small tabs on. It is more easy to glue them on something, than to glue them on the side of the acrylic piece, which is only 3 mm.
You can paint them with any color you wish using acrylic paint. I decided to use the colors available in the design rooms, and I also tried to rainbow-color order them for the aesthetics.
Step 3: Gluing the Acrylic Whiteboard Together
After you have finished painting the wood pieces and coloring in crayon the engravings, you have to glue all the pieces of the acrylic whiteboard together. In the first image above, I have provided you with all the layers that are incorporated in the acrylic whiteboard.
Firstly, glue the 2 plywood bases using wood glue. Apply wood glue on the top of the first layer and the back of the top layer (make sure the face with the engravings is at the top). Put them together, and to ensure that they do not separate, put the 2 plywood bases in a large clamp, and using small clamp pincers (image 2), put those on the top part of the plywood base, including the corners. Leave this to dry for about 10 minutes.
Next, glue the acrylic onto the 2 plywood bases. To glue the acrylic part, I used Epoxy Resin and Epoxy Resin Hardener. To use this, you have to apply it on a scrap piece of material first, however, since this substance dries very fast, instead of using a scrap piece of plywood, I applied it directly onto the top part of the plywood base.
How to use Epoxy Resin and Epoxy Hardener:
1. Squeeze 2 splotches of Epoxy Resin and Epoxy Resin Hardener out of the tubes onto the scrap piece of material next to each other as they cause a chemical reaction.
2. Mix the Resin and the Resin Hardener together for about 1 - 2 minutes (using a scrap).
3. Spread it on the plywood which you mixed on.
4. Place the acrylic board onto the plywood base and position it so that the acrylic board's left edges are in line with the engravings on the plywood. To ensure that this stays in position, I put something heavy on it. Leave it for about 10 minutes.
Finally, you have to glue the tabs on. Since there are already the shapes of the tabs on the plywood base, it is very easy. I used wood glue for this procedure, and you do not have to apply weight on it as they are so small. You can rearrange the colors if you want, although I chose to do them in rainbow color.
Note: When you print the CAD Files for the acrylic whiteboard, the CAD Files for the clock itself should also be printed along with the other CAD Files to save energy (if you have space on each CAD File, join some CAD Files together to print all the plywood CAD Files at once, and all the acrylic CAD Files at once, of course, separated by color).
Step 4: Making the Magnet Sheet for the Clock
The following step is to cut the magnet sheet, file the edges, and drill a hole in the middle for the frontmost face of the clock. From the first picture above, I did not use a thin magnetic sheet which is soft. I used an almost metal-like sheet of magnetic metal, as I wanted it to be the frontmost face of the clock. I wanted a sturdy material, that did not flop or change form when applying pressure to it.
Beforehand, I had already printed a copy of the face of the clock in plywood (wood) as it was a prototype to see if the size is pleasing. I took a mechanical pencil, as they are more sharp and accurate than normal HB pencils, placed the plywood clock face onto the magnetic sheet, and traced the outline of the shape. I recommend that if you have a magnetic sheet with some straight edges already, put one of the edges of the clock face against that to make it easier (you will have to cut one side less). After you trace the outline of the clock face and you see that there is a small gap between the plywood piece and the pencil, there is no need to worry as it would be preferable to cut a bit further away from the real outline. Additionally, you can always filed the edges, which you will have to do anyway, if you want to get rid of excess.
To cut the magnetic sheet, I used sheet metal hand steel cutting tin snips that were available to me in the design rooms.
Following that, you have to file the edges so that they are not sharp using a metal file, also to ensure that it is roughly the same size as the plywood bases. After, place it on the final plywood clock face with the 10 mm hole in it. Using the mechanical pencil, trace the hold as you will have to drill a 10 mm hole into the magnetic sheet. Go to the drill, and before drilling, make sure to tie back long hair, wear safety goggles, and using the handles of the drill, bring the drill down to the magnetic sheet and mark the middle of the traced circle.
The third picture above has the numbers, but up till this step, I did not put the numbers on yet so do not worry. The numbers will be near the end. I just used that picture to show you how the shape is supposed to look like.
Step 5: Gluing the Clock Layers Together
For the clock layers, these are the parts involved:
- The clock plywood base and the plywood layer under the magnetic sheet (they are the same shape and in between them there will be other layers).
- The magnetic sheet which will be on top of the plywood face.
- The 2 identical layers of small triangular shaped plywood and small rectangular shaped plywood (image above of the CAD File).
First off, using plywood, glue the 2 identical layers of the small triangular shaped plywood and small rectangular shaped plywood using wood glue and put them in multiple clamps to ensure that their surfaces are touching when drying. I left this for about 10 minutes to ensure that they are completely stuck to each other. The small triangular shaped plywood will be used to separate the holes in between the 2 plywood layers, and it will create holes behind the hours 1, 2, 3, 9, 10, and 11. The small rectangular shaped plywood will be used to block/cover the holes on the remaining edges of the clock which includes all the bottom, the edges below the hole of numbers 3 and 9, and the hole behind the number 12.
Then, on the clock plywood base (there is another identical plywood layer which is the same shape and size as this one, though it does not matter which one you choose to be the base), place all the small double-layered triangular shaped plywood and rectangular shaped plywood to visualize which one goes where. Next, glue these double-layered plywood pieces onto the base using wood glue. You cannot place this in a clamp as there are too many bits and pieces which could potentially fall off, so what I did was I put a heavy bottle of glue on each 2 pieces of the double-layered plywood. I also left this for about 10 minutes.
After that, I put glue on all the small double-layered pieces and I made sure that it was on all the corners and edges. I then place the other plywood layer of the full clock shape (which is identical to the plywood base), and I positioned it on top. I then placed the heavy glue bottles on top and I left this for about 15 minutes, just to ensure that it was secure.
Finally, my last step to assemble all the clock layers was to glue the magnet sheet onto the plywood clock face. To do this, you have to use Epoxy Resin and Epoxy Hardener, as they are used to glue different materials together. As I wrote the detailed steps beforehand, I will briefly write the steps on how to use this. Since the clock face is so large, I chose to directly mix the Epoxy Resin and Hardener on the plywood clock face using a separate scrap piece of material (sort of as a paintbrush). Squeeze 2 splotches of the Resin and the Resin Hardener on the plywood clock face and mix them for about 2 minutes. Then, spread the mixture so that it covers all the edges and corner of the plywood clock face, as well as the central part of it. Make sure to not have thick layers of this mixture. Then, when you have spread it enough, place the magnetic sheet on top of the plywood clock face. I also put heavy glue bottles on it to secure it, and I left it for about 15 minutes.
Step 6: The Acrylic Letters and Numbers
In this step, you have to glue the acrylic letters onto the acrylic whiteboard, and you also have to glue the acrylic numbers onto the clock face. For gluing these pieces, you have to use Epoxy Resin and Epoxy Hardener (pictures above). As I already explained how to use this before, I will not explain in such detail.
Before we move on to the following steps, remember to peel off the protective layer behind the acrylic, if not it will not stick.
Firstly, you have to squeeze 2 splotches of the Resin and the Resin Hardener onto a scrap piece of material (I used a scrap piece of plywood). Then, using another scrap piece of material as a mixing stick (I also used another scrap piece of plywood), mix the 2 substances together for about 2 minutes. Unlike other scenarios, in this case, we are dealing with very fragile and small acrylic pieces. Therefore, instead of spreading the mixture on the pieces, dip the acrylic numbers and letters into the mixture then place it on your clock and whiteboard.
I set this to dry for about 10 minutes. Always be careful even after to not accidentally put too much pressure on these acrylic letters and numbers as they can pop off.
Step 7: Putting the Clock Mechanism and the Hands
Ultimately, to finish off this product, you have to put the clock mechanism and the hands on. This clock is using an existing clock mechanism and existing hands made for the clock mechanism from Opitec. The mechanism coil is 17 mm, and the mechanism's dimensions are 55 x 55 x 15 mm.
Place the clock mechanism at the back of the clock and put the 17mm coil through the 10mm hole. On the front, place the clock nut on the top and turn it so that it is tight, and this fixes it in place. Then, take your hands, and place the minute hand first. On top of that, place the hour hand. Now, you can place the batteries at the back.
It is FINISHED!