Design Preview Report – hourglass

For my final artifact, I’m choosing to go with a minimalistic hourglass. I originally was deciding between a modern and vintage 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 my room has a minimalistic style, so I believe it will match well.

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. “Onyx is described as having a smooth finish that does not require much post-processing.”

2.) I want to use black sand rather than yellow sand. I believe the yellow sand goes better for the vintage hourglass. However, the black 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.

I currently have ordered the hourglass with the sand. The next step in the project will be designing the shell on SOLIDWORKS and 3D printing it.


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3 Comments. Leave new

  • Shrey Naresh Solanki
    April 12, 2023 4:13 pm

    Great choice in going with a minimalistic hourglass, and your specifications and constraints are well thought out. The use of carbon fiber onyx material and black sand will give the hourglass a sleek and modern look. Good luck with the 3D printing process!

  • Hunter Maul
    April 9, 2023 4:08 pm

    I have never seen someone undertake this kind of project. Do you have experience working with glass? How are you going to ensure the volume of sand drains within the appropriate amount if time?

  • I think that this is a pretty unique project and it’s really cool you’re doing something as challenging as an hour glass. Where are you sourcing the glass from and how are you going to shape it?


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