Maker Faire Bay Area 2023

3D Printed Clocks

Home: California, United States

I design 3D printed mechanical clocks. All of my designs are intended to be functional clocks with high accuracy and long runtimes. Most are weight driven with runtimes ranging between 8 to 32 days and an accuracy of 1-2 minutes per week. Other designs include motor driven desk clocks and motorized rewind clocks. My designs are published on Thingiverse, Printables, and MyMiniFactory.
3D Printed Clocks - Maker Faire Bay Area

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Steve Peterson

Retired computer engineer turned into a clock designer and maker. I enjoy the challenge of breaking a complex problem into small steps that can be solved through simple experiments. The result is an efficient and accurate timepiece that looks good.

What Inspired You to Make This?

I have always been fascinated by mechanical clocks. They seem mysterious yet all the working parts are fully visible. I would take them apart to study. Eventually I decided to try to build my own. I started with a crude CNC router that wasn't quite accurate enough to make the gears. Everything came together about 4 years ago when I got my first 3D printer. The ability to prototype a part and quickly print multiple iterations was a game changer. I was determined to build a clock that could become a useful timepiece. It needed to be accurate and have a long runtime. My first working clock was completed a few months later. It has an 8 day runtime with an accuracy of 1-2 minutes per week. I quickly realized that my first design was merely a 3D printed copy of a traditional brass clock design. It could be improved to take advantage of the characteristics of a 3D printer. I started optimizing the gears and escapement specifically for 3D printing. I now have a dozen unique clock designs posted on MyMiniFactory including several weight driven clocks, motorized desk clocks, and battery powered clocks. There are always new designs in progress and eventually I hope to build a few wooden gear clocks.

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