Progress Report 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.

So far, I have completed the CAD design for the shell of the hourglass. I plan to 3D print the design this week, and I expect to have the project completely done by the end of the week. I have also purchased an hour glass to use in my project. I originally wanted to blow the glass myself, but I realized I don’t have the time or the resources to do this. Never the less, focusing my efforts on the shell of the hourglass has been important for keeping the design minimalistic. Once I’m done printing the shell, I will use an adhesive to keep the hourglass in the shell. I tried to make the tolerances as small as possible, considering a press fit for my hour glass. However, 3D printing can be challenging when it comes to tolerances so the adhesive will probably need to be used. So far I’ve followed all of my specifications and constrains. The height should be around 7″ tall when its complete, and width will be about 3.5″ inches.

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

  • Alexander Hernacki
    April 30, 2023 8:32 pm

    I appreciate your deep consideration of how various aspects of this project will effect the desired aesthetic. I’m curious, why did you decide to go with 3D printing as the method of manufacturing the support columns?

  • Hi Peter! Cool project! I remember reading your post from early and agree that the minimalism aesthetic would match well with your hourglass subject matter. One question I had was why you had chosen the carbon fiber 3D printing material? Is it for structure or for looks?


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