Pendulum Clock Project

Introduction: Pendulum Clock Project

I am a member of Cluster 2 in COSMOS 2018 at UC San Diego. Our cluster focuses on engineering design and control of kinetic sculptures. Our first project was to create a pendulum clock using UCSD's design studio. This project is also one of the UCSD MAE3 course's project. This is an overview on how we completed this project.

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: The Pendulum

We were allowed to design any shape below half an inch above the axel where the pendulum swings as long as the entire pendulum and wheel could fit on to a 12" by 6" piece of acrylic. The holes in the design were for nuts and bolts during the fabrication process. I chose to design a music-themed pendulum because I am very passionate about playing and listening to music. The exact dimensions for the left and right pallets can be found here:

Step 2: The Escapement Wheel

The escapement wheel was a design preset by the instructors of our cluster.

The exact instructions can be found here:

After designing the pendulum and escapement wheel using Autodesk Inventor, I exported the 2D faces as DXL files and imported the DXL files into AutoCAD. In AutoCAD, I specified the inner and outer cuts for the LaserCAMM machine to cut the design in a piece of acrylic. (inner: green, outer: blue)

Step 3: The Bracket

The bracket was also a design preset by our instructors; however, I customized it with text of my choice. We digitally created it with Autodesk Inventor and used a MakerBot to 3D print the brackets with plastic. The exact instructions can be found here:

Step 4: Assembly

In the fabrication studio, I drilled clearance holes, glued acrylic, tapped holes, reamed holes, and press fit bearings for the stand and base. I used metal nuts as a weight to provide torque on the wheel. I added nuts and bolts on to my design to add more mass, increasing the rotational inertia of the pendulum. The first video is of my final product. For more information on this project, here is a link to my website:

As an additional part of the assignment, I predicted the pendulum period using a program called Working Model 2D. The video for the pendulum simulation is the second video.

Clocks Contest

Participated in the
Clocks Contest

Be the First to Share


    • Trash to Treasure Contest

      Trash to Treasure Contest
    • Raspberry Pi Contest 2020

      Raspberry Pi Contest 2020
    • Wearables Contest

      Wearables Contest

    2 Discussions


    1 year ago

    What a cool design! I love the music theme!


    Reply 1 year ago

    Thank you!