Gear O'Clock

by PrintTo3D, published

Gear O'Clock by PrintTo3D Oct 5, 2011

Featured Thing!


NEW VIDEO! youtube.com/watch?v=gCGmpHHC0Ag

It's a 3D printed clock! WOOT!

It consists of 12 number plates, 2 gears, and 1 mount.

All units are inches.

In the zip folder are two versions of the main drive gear and clock base (10" gear). The gear I sectioned into four pieces (print two of each) and a version of the drive gear that does not need supports.

This should main clock base should fit on most hobby printers. I made everything so that it requires no support and fits within a 4x4" box.

Recent Comments

view all

So please tell me I'm not the first one to be stupid and arrange the numbers backwards as if it were a normal clock? not realizing til AFTER it was super glued?

thanks for the STP file of the drive gear...could you post STP files of the other major parts. I have a larger printer and want to combine them.

Cannot wait to print/mod this!

Liked By

view all


Give a Shout Out

If you print this Thing and display it in public proudly give attribution by printing and displaying this tag. Print Thing Tag


You will need to purchase the clock shown in the photos from Walmart or any craft clock assembly should work. I picked up the Mainstays clock because it was only $3.97 and I was unable to find the kit clock mechanism locally.

If you purchase the Mainstays clock all you need to do is remove the screws around the back perimeter of the clock. Once removed you have access to the clock hands. First remove the second hand, then the minute hand and finally the hour hand. Only a gentle pull is needed. Once removed you can pry the plastic tabs on the clock backing out to remove the clock mechanism. I found a small amount of glue on mine which may make it a bit difficult.

While your parts are printing you will need to take apart the clock mechanism. Make sure you remember how it goes back together. You need to access the hour hand gear and shaft. Remove the minute hand and second hand gears. Place the hour hand gear back into the clock housing and use a fine hacksaw or Dremel tool to cut the shaft flush with the clock housing. We need to cut it off because the hour hand obviously only rotates once every 12 hours. We need to press the printed clock gear onto the minute hand shaft since it rotates once every hour hence the 12:1 gear ratio. Reassemble the clock mechanism once complete.

Once you get all the 3D parts printed you will need to hot glue the clock mechanism into the clock mechanism mount and press the drive gear on the minute hand shaft. You will also need to glue the numbers to the clock base and probably assemble the clock base pieces if you have a small 3d printing bed. (Less than 10x10 inches)


You must be logged in to post a comment.

McSquid on Apr 21, 2014 said:

So please tell me I'm not the first one to be stupid and arrange the numbers backwards as if it were a normal clock? not realizing til AFTER it was super glued?

1013 on Jul 15, 2013 said:

thanks for the STP file of the drive gear...could you post STP files of the other major parts. I have a larger printer and want to combine them.

andyways on Mar 13, 2012 said:

Cannot wait to print/mod this!

Alzibiff on Mar 11, 2012 said:

Managed to print two of these on my RepRapPro Huxley after my "duh" moment last week - brilliant design. I have published a derivative via VeryWetPaint's derivative which you can see here: http://www.thingiverse.com/thi... (No great changes and I guess I could hardly call it a true derivative but there are one or two files which may help someone else). Thanks again Bad Brad - good video too!

Alzibiff on Feb 27, 2012 said:

Hello, I don't seem to be able to slice any of the STL files for some reason. I have tried Slic3r and Skeinforge - same result - error. I would love to print this out on my RepRapPro Huxley (I can comfortably go to a little bit more than 4" square). Can anybody point me in the right direction?

Alzibiff on Mar 1, 2012 said:

Hmmm - seems I haven't been reading paying attention - my slicing software is working in mm and not inches! Think I will have another try with a scale factor of 25.4! :-[

Erik on Oct 13, 2011 said:

Awesome work! Nice video showing how you built it, too. Thanks for sharing it!

PolygonPusher on Oct 12, 2011 said:

I really love this project! The clock has a very cool design.

Thanks for sharing this design and the files with the rest of the world. :)

foxdewayne on Oct 10, 2011 said:

I finished mine today and it works great. I printed it on my Prusa so I scaled it down 75% so that I could print the big gear as one piece. I left the piece that that holds the guts, full size. I also usedthe clock from Walmart, it was cheap and easy to get. Picture to come.

duffytoler on Oct 6, 2011 said:

Do your Dimension printers have triple heads? I thought they only had 2, model and support.

PrintTo3D on Oct 6, 2011 said:

Dimension machines only have two print tips powered by a single stepper.

georgeperkins on Oct 6, 2011 said:

excellent - this really is begging for a time lapse video! I want to see it move!

Well done

PrintTo3D on Oct 6, 2011 said:

The video is now live.


Anonymous on Oct 6, 2011 said:

Video coming soon. The clock is still on track after making it's first 24 hour circuit.

pchretien on Oct 5, 2011 said:

This is so great! Love it! Thanks for sharing!

PrintTo3D on Oct 6, 2011 said:

Thanks! The idea was boiling in my brain for over a week and over the last few days I extracted it into reality.

Roboteernat on Oct 5, 2011 said:

Project... Split STL into reprap size parts... :D

cant wait till home time :)

PrintTo3D on Oct 5, 2011 said:

This is already done for you unless the print tray is smaller than 4x4 inches.

triffid_hunter on Oct 5, 2011 said:

great idea!

you could perhaps put the minutes on the drive gear in smaller letters for minute display

I would put them base to the outside, so they are read from beneath the center pole rather than being obscured by the hour display.

Alternatively, just some indicator lines of different lengths like the gau
ge on a ruler to indicate 0 (longest), 15, 30, 45 (medium), rest small.

PrintTo3D on Oct 5, 2011 said:

I had thought about putting numbers on the drive gear. I decided against it because in order to be big enough to be legible from a short distance they would need to be big in size. This would block the hour numbers. Also I wanted the gear to be as visible as possible.

The only thing I don't like about the current design is that the 45 minute markers are different color than the 30 and 15 minute markers. I should have made the entire "hour" assembly as one part.