Cloud 9 O'Clock

Made by Margret Williams

My goal of this project was to crease an interesting clock that was both functional and aesthetic 3-dimensional using modeling techniques and lasercutting.

Created: December 8th, 2017



My intention behind this design was to create a beautiful and original clock that implements 3-dimensional modeling software and lasercutting techniques.  


Sketch of design.

I was immediately aware of the design I design I wanted to pursue, and so my initial and final sketch were both created within the sketch environment of Autodesk. 

I wanted the design to be constructed in using wood and simple lines, and be approximately 1.5 feet long.



I was heavily inspired by photos of laser-cut clocks that I had found online through google searches. I really liked how many of these designs utilized vector drawing and clever design techniques to make a clock that seemed "impossible". I aimed to do create a similar illusion in my design by creating a design with many overlapping and intersecting lines, and with the middle and edge pieces of the clock seemingly unsupported.  


Supporting Context Materials

Here are some examples of clocks I found online and drew inspiration from.


Process + Procedure

I constructed this design by creating a many concentric circles with the same distance between each ring, and selectively deleting different intersecting sections of each circle. I then places lines and numbers at the appropriate angles on the main face, and lasercut the DXF on 1/4 birch plywood using a RABBIT Lasercutter. 

The sizing of this design was tricky as I was unsure of how big i wanted the final clock face to be. To solve this problem I cut the original drawing file with testing sizes on a thick cardstock to get a quick prototype of the clock and compared this size to my desired preferences. I ultimately wound up resizing the original design, and then fitting the correctly dimensioned  hold for the hand mechanisms. 



My final product was a lasercut clock measuring 1.2 feet long cut out of 1/4 inch birch plywood. I named this clock "Cloud 9 O'Clock because of the cloud-like shape is has and the airy negative space of the design. 


Five semi-professional photos



I really enjoyed this project. The design process forced me to think about the intention and desired finish deign or what I was creating. This ultimately allowed me to create a clock that I enjoy the look of and will probably hang in my room for a while, proving the functionality of the application of rapid prototyping techniques. I had never used the engrave setting to the lasercutters, and finally realizing this functionality to the lasercutters was a very beneficial addition to my knowledge. If I were to create this design or another, I would make the design slightly larger to make the presence of the clock more noticeable, and I would increase the power settings on the engraving and scoring settings to make the numbers and time notches more visible at a distance. 

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Digital Tooling (DigiTool) provides a platform for any CMU student to learn Digital Fabrication processes; all of which are very hands-on. Like these processes, this class is also very hands-on. I...more


My goal of this project was to crease an interesting clock that was both functional and aesthetic 3-dimensional using modeling techniques and lasercutting.