Top 5 specifications, top 5 constraints Minimalistic Hourglass


For my final artifact, I’m choosing to go with a minimalistic hourglass. I originally was going to go with a modern aesthetic. However, after doing the sketching exercise, I was really inspired by the minimalist design. This is an artifact I want to keep on my desk and I personally have a very minimalistic style.

For my top 5 specifications

1.) I want the material of the “shell” of the hourglass to be 3D printed using carbon fiber onyx. This is a super sleek material and I think it would look amazing for the artifact. It is a very minimalistic material in my opinion in a visual aspect.

2.) I want to use white sand rather than yellow sand. I believe the yellow sand goes better for the vintage hourglass. However, the white sand would go better with the black 3D printed material.

3.)  I haven’t decided the exact shape of the shell, but it will have a smooth texture to it. As compared to the vintage one which has bumps in the support structure, this wouldn’t look good in the minimalistic aesthetic.

4.) I want the hourglass to be perfectly parallel. This will match the minimalistic aesthetic the best.

5.) I want the glass of the hourglass to be really high quality. With a minimalistic aesthetic, you need the artifact to look “clean.” A high quality glass with white sand will really pop from the black onyx material.


For my top 5 constraints

1.) I want the hourglass to be an average size to fit on my desk. That means it will be no greater than 10″ tall and 8″ wide. This will still allow it to stand out, but not be too big.

2.) Onyx material is quite expensive to print with, so I’m setting the budget for the onyx material to be no more than $60. It will help if the rectangular tops are hollow.

3.) I want the tops of the hourglass to be rectangular. There shouldn’t be any odd shapes sticking out as this will take away from the minimalistic aesthetic.

4.) I require that the design of the hourglass doesn’t allow any sand to get stuck. This means a very narrow and high structure to the glass. If sand gets stuck on the glass this will look bad and take away from the minimalistic aesthetic.

5.) Although I don’t believe this will be a problem, I want the sand flow to be as quiet as possible. This means a hole that’s narrow enough so that too much sand doesn’t flow through at once. If the artifact is “loud”, it will definitly take away from the minimalistic aesthetic.

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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Rachel Jones
    March 21, 2023 4:13 pm

    I feel like we are in the same wavelength for our projects so that’s cool. Very clean and precise measurements, symmetry, and color aspects are important on mine as well. I like how you pay close attention to material quality and how that plays into the minimalistic aesthetic.
    Why did you specifically choose Onyx if its so expensive? Is there another thermoplastic that is comparable and can be used for the sake of the project and cost?

  • Aidan Shelburne
    March 19, 2023 5:56 pm

    Thanks for the update! I think you’ve identified the most important factors quite cohesively, maintaining a reasonable flow rate and a highly symmetric shape seem like they will be the most challenging design goals.


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