AMS Spring 2023

The 3D Printed Sundial Watch Collection: Harness the Power of the Sun with Your Own Watch

Inkbit

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Ancient-egyptian-sundial

Ancient Egyptian sundial

It’s all the rage to go retro… but sometimes we like to go ancient. Face it, everything about the sundial is cool. Has it ever occurred to you that you could wear one as a watch? Not only is this idea totally hip, but the watch runs on solar power, so there’s never any winding or battery wear.

Instructables user gkapriel came up with a new take on the timepieces that trace their origins back to the shadow clocks in ancient Egyptian astronomy and Babylonian astronomy, circa 1500 BC. Shadow clocks evolved further from there in the hands of the Greeks, who refined the technology into the sundial.

Now, with the Sundial Watch Collection, Instructables user gkapriel has taken refining the sundial to another level, combining it with a beautiful artistic design and 3D printing. This is more than just a shared design file for 3D printing. Gkapriel has come up with an entire collection of sundial watches for you to make. The result is stunning, and you may just decide you need all four styles.

“The Sundial Watch focuses your attention on light and shadow, developing a relationship with the sun and a more fluid perception of time,” according to gkapriel.

watch modelsGkapriel drew inspiration for the Sundial Watch Collection from the ivory diptych dials made by the famous sundial and scientific instrument maker Leonhart Miller who crafted his timepieces in Renaissance Europe.

The collection features:

  • The Adventurer
  • The Classic
  • The Sport
  • The Traveler

Sundial WatchesWith a compass inlay to point north, each watch must be set for your geographical coordinates, adjusting the gnomon and angle of the hours. In making your watch, you will need to make sure it is set for your location information provided here by gkapriel, that applies to each watch, except the Traveler, because it is a diptych sundial.

Sundial for your locationGkapriel provides the design files for each watch, which were created originally from 2D designs with outlines regarding calculations for geographical area, and then researching of compasses.

The watch band and moving hinges, according to gkapriel, “were slightly offset with a gap, while the black text was Boolean subtracted from the solid watch body. This is important when preparing the file for a 3D print.”

Gkapriel used a resin-based Objet 3D printer, with each style featuring a flexible material in the watchband, and hard material for the watch body. If you don’t have a 3D printer, never fear as you can use a service like Shapeways to have your watches printed.

Do you know how to create or read a sundial? Are you going to download this design? Tell us about it in the 3D Printed Sundial Watch forum at 3DPB.com. Check out some more design views, and a video of the sundial watches in action, too!

watch design 1

watch design 2

Designing watches 3

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