Chain Clock

by JEdren, published

Chain Clock by JEdren Sep 3, 2012
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A clock with a chain that rotates around the minute shaft. Once every hour a number will be at the top.

It uses a regular quarts motor for wall mounted clocks.

The design is inspired by a clock made by Andreas Dober 1993 for Anthologie Quartett.


Print one sets of numbers, face plate, one drive gear and one ring gear (optional). The chain is made out of 12x12=144 pieces of links so they speak for themselves.

I printed these out on a mendel prusa @ 0.2mm thick with ABS plastic.

The chain links are designed with supports added for the studs in the .stl file. Simply break away the supports and ream/drill out the holes so that they are nice and round. Then the links should, with a little care, snap together. The c-c distance is 10mm.

The clock motor I sourced form my local hardware store and is made for 10 to 12 mm thick face plates.
Cut down the hour shaft and fit the drive gear on the minute shaft. I actually managed to fit a 4x8 ball bearing that supports the minute shaft but I think it should work either way.

The numbers are glued into the 2x2mm hole in a chain link.

Make sure that the chain is free and that the gears are smooth.


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can you upload a time lapse?

Can you please share the cad file of the links. I want to try to fit them so that they can be printed with the links already in place, but I have to alter the design for that.

Hello! I have uploaded .step files and also higher resolution .stl files now. I also have a version of the link without the support structure.

Thanks! I'll look into it

Protip for people using PLA: Dunk your chainlinks in hot water for a second or two before attempting to link them together. They will soften up and it will become much more manageable.

Can someone put a link to a motor that can be uesed with this

A real bear with pla! I can't get them together.

Thanks. I'll give it a try but my ABS isn't that flexable.

Try to print without infill. That migth also might give the links little more flex.

I really like the design of the chain you made. How do you put them together without breaking the links?

The abs plastic that I use is quite flexible so the links can be bent apart to that they snap together. The links are 10mm wide but the pins are 12mm wide so they can be cut down a little to aid the assembly.