Project 1 - Deepak
Made by Deepak Vanjani
Laser Cutting a Clock
Created: October 1st, 2017
My overall idea for my first laser cut project is to create a basic wall clock. My girlfriend's birthday is coming up - so my main motivation for the project is to create a clock she would like and gift it to her. The major theme I am going with is Hippos. Her and I have an inside joke related to hippos - and I think she would love it and find it meaningful if I made her something thing related to hippos.
So going forward with my motivation of incorporating hippos into the project - my second goal for this project is to still keep a sense of aesthetic to it. With something like a hippo clock, I could go with a more childish route or still maintain a degree of aesthetic, and I want to go with the latter. Below is a precedent project that serves as my main inspiration.
Below are some of my initial sketches. One way I can go with this is to imitate my original inspiration, and have the clock be in the shape of a hippo. But, I find something more appealing about having a standard circular or rectangular clock, with a hippo within the design - I find this to be more aesthetic. In terms of colors, perhaps having a grey material as the outline, and having the hippo be black - I feel like would be a pretty clean look.
After giving my sketches some thought and playing around with programs such as Illustrator, Fusion360, and Vectorworks, I came up with a final design of my project. I decided to go with a design where the clock had a rectangular base, with a message reading "TO MY DEAREST HIPPO", and the bottom right side of the clock would have a engraved hippo with a clock on it.
I have posted a screenshot of my component designs on Fusion360 below. In order to go along my theme of keeping the design elegant, while still maintaining the fun-natured idea of incorporating a hippo clock, I chose an elegant font (Lucida Calligraphy) for the text as well as the numbers. I also chose to outline a simple design of a hippo, and nothing too funky to go along with this theme. Furthermore, I thought it would be classy to have a border around the main rectangular design, so I incorporated that as another layer in my design. Finally, I had to measure out the dimensions of the clock kit, to make sure that there was space to place the kit on the design, as well as a circular hole on the hippo.
After creating my design, I was ready to print. Below are some photos I took throughout the process.
I decided that I wanted to use wood as my main material throughout this project. So I was able to find a nice wood sheet. Above is my first print ever!
This photo is depicting the laser cutter cutting through a piece of black acrylic. I thought to make my hippo a solid black color, to continue with my theme of simplicity and elegancy.
After my main board printed out, although I liked the natural color of the wood, I was able to get access to some wood stain, so I went ahead and stained the wood with a deeper brown color, which really made the piece look much more polished and professional.
I also stained the boarder, and I decided to go with a darker color to create some contrast with the main inner board, as well as create some unity with the black hippo. I was contemplating cutting the hands of the clock a little shorter, but after pondering upon it, I realized I really liked how the hands were a little longer than the body of the hippo, so I decided to stick with the way the hands were.
Above is an image of one of my drafts - I accidentally spilled some stain on the main board, so I went ahead and re-cut my design, just to make sure everything was perfect!
Above is a final image of my project.
I am really happy with how it looks. I think it was really able to achieve the theme I was going for, and it also achieved the purpose.
I learned a great deal through this project. I was introduced to so many things for the first time, particularly how to use Fusion360 and how to Laser Cut. As a quantitative major at CMU, I never get to push myself artistically, and this project definitely challenged me creatively. I was definitely able to get everything I wanted to out of my process, and was able to create a cool gift while I was at it.
I am not sure if I would have done much differently, but I think I could have pushed myself a little harder on the design, as I could have played around with some more complex dimensions and layers. However, the theme I was going for was simplicity, so I don't regret that too much!
Who helped you design? Test? Brainstorm?
I received a lot of help from other classmates and my teacher throughout the process!
Below are some final photos of my clock.
Laser Cutting a Clock