Gear Clock

Made by csacco

The goal was to use 3D modelling and laser cutting techniques to create a clock.

Created: April 15th, 2018



Write about the big ideas behind your project? What are the goals? Why did you make it? What are your motivations?

I wanted to make a simple and clean clock design that could easily be read. My goal was to incorporate classic clock features and create a modern look for the project.


Research & Context

[How does your outcome relate to other work in the field? What makes it similar or different to other objects of the same genre? How have other objects failed to solve the problem you have identified?]

Some clocks and other mechanisms used to work on a gear system. I took this method and used it as a focus for my design. However, my design differs in the sense that those gears were typically all the same and I used multiple different gear shapes and sizes. Other objects sometimes fail in allowing the time to be easily noticeable because of design, but this clock easily allows the time to be seen.



[Include sketch with as much details as possible, like: approximate dimensions, materials, layers, textures, colors, and aesthetic influences.]


Aesthetic & Inspiration

[What influenced your design? Is there a specific style, art movement, or natural phenomena? Include at least one example. Can be a still image, video, or music.]

My design was influenced by classic style of clocks that had multiple components within the face of the clock. I was inspired by looking through many types of clocks and making the connection between the more classic styles.


Process & Procedure

[Outline your approach to the project. What steps did you take to design, model, sketch, and prototype this projects? What ideas did you generate and how did you refine or reject them? How did you use cutting, etching, scoring? What challenges were encountered and how did you resolve them? Include photos of prototypes, redesigned sketches, design worksheets, and failed trails.]

When I began to design I looked at many types of clocks for inspiration. Once I had my idea I began to sketch and model possible variations of the clock. Then landed on a final design for the clock. Originally, I had other plans to include a clear acrylic layer over the entirety of the clock and to score the engraving of the numbers. However, I chose not the cover the entire clock because I liked the attention to be more focused on everything happening in the back of the clock. Also, I decided to let the numbers not be outlined because after my first attempt of it failed (not outlining the numbers in the correct place), I decided for times sake to let the numbers stand alone. As a result I used the scoring technique on the smaller gears in the back to add more detail to them.

Two Renderings

[Two renderings on complete project styled with finished background, lighting, positioning, reflection]

Five semi-pro photos

[Five semi-professional photos with care given to context, lighting, staging, scene]


[Reflect on the process of making this project. What did you learn? What would you do differently?]

I learned how to better use the laser machines. After have going through the process again of using the laser cutter I was able to use them more efficiently and confidently. I was also able to learn more about Fusion 360 by needed to model something from scratch on my own. If I were to do the project again I would spend more time in the modelling stages and experimenting with more types of gears to maybe make them actually mobile.

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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


The goal was to use 3D modelling and laser cutting techniques to create a clock.