Top Five Project Constraints – Mechanical Clock

  1. Friction is the number one cause of failure for mechanical clock projects. The clocks weight needs to lift the clock’s hands and move the pendulum. If the friction in the bearing surfaces or between the gears is too great, the clock will be at a standstill. One way to mitigate this is to use roller bearings. Another way is to construct the frame of the clock so it can support more weight if needed.
  2. Measurement accuracy – To reduce friction bearing surfaces need to be concentric and aligned. Moving parts need to have clearance between them, but backlash shouldn’t be a concern.
  3. Limitations of laser cutting – Tor this project the cut surfaces won’t be perfectly parallel with the surface of the material since the laser beam deflects slightly as it passes through the material. I hope this isn’t a big problem, but if needed I can individually file the gear teeth.
  4. Finishing – I would like to give my clock a minimalist aesthetic, but there are some limitations in the finishing processes I can use. Many paints do not adhere well to acrylic. Additionally, applying paint or stain to the gear teeth can increase friction.
  5.  Winding – Most mechanical clocks will only run about 3 days using a typical gear ratio and a 5 lb weight. I’m considering adding a motorized automatic winding mechanism, but this would substantially increase the complexity of the project.
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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Nicholas Flood
    March 15, 2016 7:30 pm

    I can see friction being a huge issue. I would focus hard on designing the gears first to reduce friction at the contact points.

  • Anfal Abdulrahman
    March 13, 2016 12:53 am

    you seem you are very aware of your project constrains which is really great and informative it seems you you were able to find initial solution for few too.

    keep it up ^^


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