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Michigan Man 3D Prints a 4-Foot-Tall Dome Clock and It’s Incredible

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As the clock is about to take another evolutionary step towards the future come next month when the Apple Watch is officially released, one man by the name of Jason Preuss has taken us all a step back in the evolution of time keeping. While the Apple Watch promises to change the way we communicate, interact, and view time, Preuss’ project concentrates more on the aesthetics of time telling.

Jason Preuss

Jason Preuss

Preuss, who is a statistical and web programmer at a nonprofit economic research institute in Kalamazoo, Michigan, also explained to 3DPrint.com that he has a 14-year background as a maker, creating intricate wooden clocks. This all changed, however, when his daughter was born, and his amount of free time dimished. Preuss had to put his clock making on hold for a few years, but his clock making fate changed once again a little over 2 years ago when he purchased his first 3D printer.

“Right from the beginning I knew I wanted to try to print wood patterns but it took me quite a while to get my print and design skills to the level it needed to be,” Preuss explained to 3DPrint.com.

Once Preuss perfected his skills and felt comfortable using the printer, it was then time to set off on a project which had the potential to turn out quite remarkable: a dome clock. For those who are not aware, the Dome scroll saw pattern clock is considered the pinnacle pattern within the scroll saw world. Preuss explained to us that he had never had the opportunity to actually create such a clock out of wood and a scroll saw, so he thought, “why not give it a shot on a 3D printer?”

d2And that’s just what he did. Preuss began by scanning patterns for the clock, which are available for purchase online. Once each pattern was scanned he would then open them in Inkscape and utilize its ‘fill’ feature. He would then export that path, using the ‘paths to OpenSCAD’ extension and finally use OpenSCAD for further modifications such as additional bevel cuts. Pattern by pattern, scan by scan, print by print, Preuss gradually worked his way through each main component of the clock. The project began in October and after 6 months, and lot of patience and incredible talent being put to use, the clock was completed just this last week.

Printed using a MakerBot Replicator 2, which he modified to include a Bottleworks heat plate and some aluminun components, and standing at an incredible 4 feet tall, 2 feet wide, and a foot deep, the Dome Clock is like nothing you have ever seen before. While it almost has a chocolaty appearance, Preuss told us that he chose the dark brown color filament so that the clock would appear as if it was created with a stained wood.

In total this incredible project required over 345 hours of print time and 6kg of 3D printer filament to fabricate a total of 120 different pieces. As for Preuss’ future plans, his next step will be to document the workflow required in the creation of this clock and to make it available online so that others can do the same thing if they’d like to. He will be setting a website up at Patterntoprint.com over the next few weeks, so stay tuned!

Let’s hear your thoughts on this incredible 3D printed project. Discuss in the Giant 3D Printed Clock forum thead on 3DPB.com

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