Hour glass Final Report Part 1: What

For my final artifact, I chose 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 final artifact I will keep on my desk and I personally have a very minimalistic style.

I 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. After completion of the CAD design for the shell of the hourglass, I originally planned to 3D print the design out of onyx on the Mark Forged printers. However, after some consultation with Pat in the Idea Forge, I decided that laser cutting acrylic would be more beneficial for my project. I was worried at first because I never laser cut before and didn’t know how the process worked. It turned out great though. The finish on the acrylic looks much better than 3D printing.

I finally used dichloromethane adhesive to glue every piece together. I tried to make the tolerances as small as possible, considering a press fit for my hour glass, but I ended up using a little adhesive to keep it stable. I managed to follow all of my specifications and constrains which I was really proud of.

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.


Spec 1 – Although I didn’t end up 3D printing my artifact, I laser cut acrylic into my desired geometries and it turned out great. I was primarily intending to find a sleek material to build this out of. Therefor, I would say I passed this specification.

Spec 2 – This was something I also changed. I originally was going to go with a white sand, but then I saw an hourglass with black sand, and I thought this looked much better. It kept the artifact more minimalistic with only one color.

Spec 3- Passed

Spec 4 – Passed

Spec 5 – Passed


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.


Constraint 1- Passed

Constraint 2- Ended up going with laser cutting which was free, passed

Constraint 3- Passed

Constraint 4- Passed. Had I blown my own hour glass this definitly would have been my biggest problem.

Constraint 5- Same as 4

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1 Comment. Leave new

  • This looks really cool! The one thing I’m noticing is that it’s a little difficult to see the black sand against the black frame. Perhaps it’s different in person. Do you think the white sand would have been easier to see?


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