Customizable Sundial

by doctek, published

Customizable Sundial by doctek Feb 17, 2013


Customizable Horizontal Sundial. Use Customizer to specify your location and give your dial a custom label! Note that the dial is corrected to read in Standard Time for your Time Zone.

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Nope, I ended up designing my own sundial on Tinker Cad.

Did the fix that you proposed http://www.thingiverse.com/thi... actually do the job? If so, I'll modify the code. I'm assuming that you are using the "R1" version of this Thing.

Without customizing it at all, the customizer displays the follwoing error: Parser error in line 506: syntax error

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Customizable Sundial by doctek is licensed under the GNU - GPL license.

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Caveat: This sundial is designed for the Northern Hemisphere. I have no clear idea how to adapt it to the Southern Hemisphere yet. When I figure that out, I'll post a Southern Hemisphere version.

The Horizontal Sundial is easily customized to your location. Start by finding your latitude and longitude (in decimal degrees) here: universimmedia.pagesperso-orange.fr/geo/loc.htm
Longitude may be positive or negative; Latitude will be positive. (Otherwise you're in the Southern Hemisphere. Refer to the Caveat above.) Note you must indicate both your exact Latitude as well as the range of your latitude in degrees. This because of an OpenSCAD limitation.

Then find your time zone correction here: timeanddate.com/library/abbreviations/timezones/ There are many different names for time zones. At the site, simply use Find in your browser to look up the correction for your time zone.

Now use Customerizer to enter your data and make an awesome custom sundial!

Note: Although there are other sundials on Thingiverse, this one was created from scratch to be customizable.


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VictorFrost on Feb 4, 2014 said:

This object generates an error in the customizer and does not work.

doctek on Feb 4, 2014 said:

Can you be more specific? What parameters are you using? This has worked for a lot of people. Maybe a new version of Customizer is causing problems? Maybe you've found a real bug? Hard to say without knowing what you entered into the Customizer.

ajhic on Oct 30, 2013 said:

Customizing in OpenSCAD doesn't seem to work for those of us in the southern hemisphere. Using the Lat -35.501 and the long 138.783 makes the gnomon a very strange shape that wouldn't print and trying to use the time zone +9.5 puts some of the markings off the base plate.

doctek on Oct 31, 2013 said:

Indeed, you are correct. When I first posted this, I didn't have the time to work out the details for the Southern Hemisphere, and I haven't been able to get back to it. Perhaps someone south of the Equator can do a derivative?

biohazard3k on Apr 21, 2013 said:

Fun print. I made one about a month ago and came back to generate another but it seems to be broke. I keep getting an error on the page saying "Parser error in line 506: syntax error" . Hopefully this will be fixed soon.:(

doctek on Apr 22, 2013 said:

Looks like some sort of bug in Customizer. I haven't touched any of the files and SW doesn't just rot from disuse. :>)}}

Hope for a fix in Customizer, or (better) download the OpenSCAD file and run it directly.

Bluehairbob on Mar 4, 2013 said:

Very Cool!

creuzerm on Mar 2, 2013 said:

I am love sundials, and I've printed one of the others here. Giving this one a try as well.

I've found 2 things.

1) The Latitude Range isn't obvious what it is. I had to peak at the source code to see the comments so I could pick the right value.

2) Longitude that ends with a 0 seems to not work right. example: -88.24450

The easy fix is to remove the 0 at the end, it will then render right.

wifibum on Feb 19, 2013 said:

Very cool! Can you scale this up and down without affecting it's time keeping?

doctek on Feb 20, 2013 said:

Should work fine as long as the angles aren't modified.

doctek on Feb 17, 2013 said:

1 - text and lines display perfectly when using OpenSCAD directly.
2- text and lines do not display correctly in Customizer.

Ugly bug in Customizer, or it's not really ready to do anything but simple stuff. Hopefully, it will be fixed before the end of the contest so people can see what an Awesome Sundial this is!


This is *extremely* frustrating after all the effort I went to to create this and make it "customizable". Since it's fine in OpenSCAD and I followed the MakerBot rules for customization carefully, I would expect better.

tbuser on Feb 18, 2013 said:

Hi, nice script!

The problem with text not showing is because you're not specifying the write font. It works locally because the path to the default font behaves differently locally. We're actually going to be adding a fix for this tomorrow!

Also, the reason the object is showing up smaller than you'd expect (and the lines not showing well because of it) is because of the way Customizer calculates the size of the object. It takes into account all shapes even shapes that don't show because for instance they could be part of a difference() operation. If you reduce the size of the shapes, then the final object should be centered and zoomed in better. This is on our todo list to improve in the future.

cdmacy on Feb 17, 2013 said:

I ran the customizer and I didn't get any letters on the sundial! When I pasted the code into OpenSCAD it worked okay. Anybody else have this problem?

You might want to check that you are using the writecylinder() function exactly correctly against the cylinder you created because because from my experience, OpenSCAD is much more forgiving than the Customizer. I spent a whole day working on this exact problem with my own Customizer code where everything looked good on the PC, but once I put it in Customizer, no letters.

doctek on Feb 17, 2013 said:

Maybe I should mention how to use a sundial for those who may not know. It's mighty simple. Place it in the sun. (Easier said than done in Oregon!) Put it on a level surface and point the large end of the center triangle (called the gnomon) to true North (not magnetic north as indicated on a compass). Read the time as where the shadow of the upper edge of the gnomon falls.

doctek on Feb 20, 2013 said:

Even easier is to simply turn the sundial until it indicates the right time. If the surface is level, then the large end of the gnomon will be pointing North just like it should be. Check the time in a few hours and adjust as needed.

Have fun!