Watch Time Roll By On This Strange, Spiral Clock

[Build Some Stuff] created an unusual spiral clock that’s almost entirely made from laser-cut wood, even the curved and bendy parts.

The living hinge is one thing, but getting the spacing, gearing, and numbers right also takes work.

The clock works by using a stepper motor and gear to rotate the clock’s face, which consists of a large dial with a spiral structure. Upon this spiral ramp rolls a ball, whose position relative to the printed numbers indicates the time. Each number is an hour, so if the ball is halfway between six and seven, it’s 6:30. At the center of the spiral is a hole, which drops the ball back down to the twelve at the beginning of the spiral so the cycle can repeat.

The video (embedded below) demonstrates the design elements and construction of the clock in greater detail, and of particular interest is how the curved wall of the spiral structure consists of a big living hinge, a way to allow mostly rigid materials to flex far beyond what they are used to. Laser cutting is well-suited to creating living hinges, but it’s a technique applicable to 3D printing, as well.

Thanks to [Kelton] for the tip!

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