Kongotronic 3000 TIME DEFENDER Robot Clock

by kongorilla, published

Kongotronic 3000 TIME DEFENDER Robot Clock by kongorilla Dec 19, 2012

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While no one has discovered a way to defeat our enemies the Chronophages, the engineers at KONGO! have devised a new weapon to monitor the progress of the time stealing fiends.

Print your own Kongotronic 3000 Series TIME DEFENDER and not only will you never again be in doubt that time IS BEING STOLEN FROM YOU, but you'll know precisely HOW MUCH time!

And you can help improve the TIME DEFENDER! There are expansion ports on the head that have yet to be utilized. There is a submission form upon which you can doodle your ideas. Build the ideas yourself, or send them to KONGO! and perhaps we'll include them in a future update.

Be sure to "watch" this object, there will be updates. Like what? Well, right now there's a hook on the robot's back so it can be hung on a wall, but its tank treads are too long to allow that. Alternate legs will have be made. And doesn't he need a big ray gun to hold?

Don't need a clock, you say? There's plenty of room in that big ol' body to hold other projects. Projects involving meters are a perfect fit.

UPDATE 3/19/2013 - Now with Easter Bunny ears accessory
UPDATE 12/22/2013 - Now with Santa Hat - Can be printed without support (has a breakaway support built in, under the tab that holds the hat on the robot's head).


Hey folks, I'm a freelancer. I put many hours into this project, not to mention countless meters of 1.75mm PLA filament, making sure this would be an exceptional Thingiverse contribution. Heck, I even created a faux package design so you can make a nice gift box. If you appreciate this level of work, if it puts a smile on somebody's face, if you tip well at restaurants, consider some form of patronage. Whether it's a few dimes, a few dollars, or a few meters of filament, I'd be very grateful. I'll even add your name to a patron list on this page. Message me through Thingiverse or my direct email, "kongorilla at yahoo dot com" (please convert to a real address). My paypal account is linked to that yahoo address as well. Thanks!

Need some modeling work done? Contact me for that, too.


A special THANK YOU TO Bluemetal for becoming the first patron for this project!

davelandia - Thank you for your patronage!
Framingr - Thank you, too!
Trevor L from the Great White North - email me for a proper thank you! (I couldn't reply to your payment)
BigLazyB - Thanks for your amazing generosity!


All the files you need are in the zip file.

You'll need a quartz clock movement. They're commonly found in craft stores or in the cheap clocks you've got in your garage because you don't like them anymore. I'm not sure how standardized they are, but the three I found in my house were virtually identical (above is a photo of the movement I used). I'm anticipating some variation, though, so if the movement mount or dial doesn't fit your clock movement, shoot me a message with the specs you need and I'll be happy to make adjustments for you.

You'll also need a small amount of glue. I used super glue. I also used stick glue to attach the paper printout of the clock dial to the printed part it goes on. I was surprised how well the stick glue worked on PLA.

Printing and assembling the clock should be fairly straight forward, though time consuming. I've included instructions for assembling the arms because they have to be done in a particular order (see picture). I'm hoping all other questions are covered by the exploded view (see another picture). The clock movement and mount have to be pushed in from the back.

All the visible parts have mesh topology that is subdivision surface compatible. So, if you have a printer that is much better than mine and you can see unwanted polygon facets, you can go into the Blender file and raise the subdivisions for the offending object. Hurray for virtually infinite resolution! This model will be useful for years to come, even when we're printing parts for our flying cars. I didn't use Blender-specific features on the mesh (such as marking hard edges), so the model can be subdivided in any software package that supports subdivision surfaces (pretty much all mesh modeling programs).

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Strange issue, my clock seems to be running fast. I think it could be the dials not printed the correct size?

No, dial size wouldn't matter. What would matter would be attaching the disc to the minute hub rather than the hour hub. That would be very fast.

Seems to run about 5 minutes too fast every hour. Must be my mechanism.

Yes, I suspect it would work fine. My preference is to use one that either doesn't have a second hand, or specifies silent movement (or non-ticking) because ticking gets on my nerves.

If you have a link to your preferred one that would be great!

7 looks fine. These movements tend to be fairly standard. There are differing diameters and lengths of mounting shafts. The robot's mount is meant for 5/16" diameter shafts. The mount can slide back and forth to accommodate the different lengths, within reason. If you end up with a movement that is an outlier, I can probably make adjustments for you that'll make it work.

Great, i'll get one ordered.

First of all awesome project! I'm having some issues getting the treadmount into the base without breaking the tabs. Any tips?

Some options:

  • If they're too tight, sand the outer edges of the tabs first, and/or sand the hole on the body, or make the hole wider by scraping it with an x-acto knife.
  • Consider a material other than PLA (assuming that's what you're printing with now). PETG is much more flexible, for example.
  • Sometimes a superglued tab will be stronger than it was originally.
  • Or, if you're reprinting the tread mount, print with a leaner extrusion width and possibly up the temp a little to help with layer adhesion. The problem with this recommendation is printing leaner will help make the tabs fit, but they'll be less strong. I'd try sanding the tabs down before trying this.

Sorry you're having trouble with that part. Nearly five years later, I'd probably not design a part that needs to be stressed in a way that pulls the layers apart.

Thanks for the reply and the tips. I think its the PLA because the tabs are so brittle... its not even close (sadly my rig only prints PLA). I'll try out some of your suggestions.Thanks again... really is a cool print. My son is anxiously awaiting completion.

Hello! I do not understand - why the numbers of hours have to move in another direction?

Thank you!

It's because a normal clock movement is used, but instead of moving hands in relation to a stationary clock face, we're moving the clock face in relation to a stationary pointer.

Thank you!
So....what about recomendations for printing? - layer, infill etc.?

What FUN! I did make two changes, however. I made the hands solid (no opening), and I reversed the clock motor mount so the ears face the front. I extended the fore/aft ear length to suit my clock movement so it just holds the clock face off the front. With the ears pointed backwards, it was a pain to get the movement mounted just right.

Where are you getting boxes the right size?

Glad you had some fun along with the challenges. The box seen in the photos is custom made. If you look at the photo with the robot inside the open box, what you see is (1) a Harry&David gift box (the kind that the pears are shipped in -- that's why it has air holes) that I altered from its original rectangular shape, and (2) the lid, which is made from the cardboard backing (chipboard) from a large sheet of paper. I cut halfway through the board where the folds need to be, and glue the corners on the inside with some heavy cardstock.

I'd love to see your 'bot -- post a "make" if you have the time!

Will do. I will also post my files.

How fix a MovementMount inside the Body?

Have you looked at the picture gallery? The exploded view shows how everything goes together, and the second to last image shows the movement attached to the piece that slides into the body. In most cases that pieces will be friction fit inside the chest, but if your print doesn't stay in place, a few squirts of glue will hold it.

Comments deleted.

Very nice clock.
Printed mine and everybody said, its awesome.
But it needed some more 50s style so I added a holder for "vacuum tubes" (1924846)

Thanks for making this Kongorilla! It is A-O-TAY! The hard work you put into this really shows and the fact you included everything one needs to complete the project, including the dial faces, is GREATLY appreciated!

I have the head, Body and connectors done so far. I am working on the chest as I write this. I am on my 3rd attempt with that part as I have run into some warping issues. I am using red PLA and it is starting to look like the one in your pictures.
I really dig this model as I like the fact that it does something useful besides just sitting there looking cool.

Has anyone come up with alternate legs that will allow this to be hung flush on a wall?

I never made the legs, and if anyone else did, they didn't share it. It's been on my list of things to do "some day", but since you're the first to request them, and this design didn't exactly set the 'verse on fire, it's been a low priority. I could probably knock something out fairly quickly though. I'll take a look at it.

I am new to the 'verse, so I am still trying to understand it. I am just grateful you are still around, considering you published this in 2012. I only got my printer several weeks ago and it would have been a shame if I had missed you by years. Heck, I am still trying to decide on what kind of 3d modeling software to get, so I can design my own stuff and modify things I find on the internet. I don't even think I had heard of 3d printing back in 2012. You may have been a little early, I just hope I haven't arrived too late.

Mine is almost done...printing one last arm after trying something with the first one I made.

A couple of notes from my assembly...the "knobs" and "slots" on the pieces that go together to form the tread mount were too tight for the fit to work correctly, so I had to do a lot of trimming there.

On the arms, I couldn't get the "box" connectors to work, so I had to glue them. I THINK it's because I don't have a heated print bed, and the arms turned up at the corners JUST A TAD. I didn't really feel like trying to print the cubes at slightly smaller sizes, especially when glue was going to work just fine.

Other than those two areas, the entire thing went together really well and looks great. I'll get some pictures up as soon as this arm is done and assembled.

This is one of the coolest things on the 'Verse. I'm really surprised it doesn't get more comments and requests, even though it is a couple of years old now.

I'll be starting my print in the next couple of days, and can't wait to see the finished product. I plan on getting the box and everything...then, I'm not sure what exactly it will be defending...

Thank you -- I put a lot of time and love into this design, but it didn't gain much traction in Thingiverse popularity. Perhaps its style is too niche, dooming it to cult appreciation? Perhaps it's too complicated a print for a general audience, which seems to appreciate print-in-place designs? I dunno.

Let me know how it works out for you. I love seeing prints of it.

Wow what a great design. built mine and love it. The box artwork is fantastic as well ! Yes we need the head attachments. Please add to your project for us.

At what resolution is yours printed at?

It's been a few years since I printed one, and my printer wasn't as "dialed in" as it is now, but IIRC, my prints were done at .2 using PLA. The latest feedback I've gotten is that the tolerances are a little loose, which wasn't the case when I first posted the files (back then, some people complained of a couple parts being too hard to squeeze together). Let me know if you have any issues I can take care of.

This is incredible. I think it calls for an Abe Lincoln style stovepipe hat accessory.

Do you have any of the head accessories posted elsewhere? The hat and ears are great, but I'm looking forward to the sketches being realized.

The hat and bunny ears are all I've made. A few other accessories have been posted by other users, though:

User BigLazyB made some whole heads:
http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:211145 (check his account for more)

Is there a particular add-on you've got your eye on? I'll probably have some time for fun projects at the end of September.

50s Scifi Movie Robot Antenna for Kongotronic 3000 Time Defender
by 3dlyx
Kongotronic Vulcan Ear Addon
Kongotronic dragon/punk rock head

Thanks for the links. I'll definitely do the 50s scifi antennae. Stuff along that line is what I'm looking for. I just today printed the head and connector and attached it. Still have the front plate, guts and arms. Great model.

I did notice some things that were odd to me. There is clearly a call for gluing the tracks to the base using the mortise and tenon style. But there's no definite seat for that tenon. When fully pushed in, I can still rock it side to side or otherwise mis-align it. It's firmly glued up now, but I was wondering why you didn't employ some sort of snap-to capture like you did with the claws, head and tread-base/body. Same deal with the back fitting the torso: there's no 'return' or shelf to prevent it from being pushed in. I'm hoping the clock guts will solve that issue.

For my print, the head and base snap-ring is a little loose. I might reprint them a tiny bit bigger knowing that PLA will wear itself to proper fit in minutes. I'm heading out to Micheal's right now to get a clock motor. Should finish printing tonight.

One thing to consider is I made this model two years ago, and designed the part tolerances for what I thought the typical printer was capable of at the time. If I were to remake it today, I might make the fit more snug on some parts. Back then, I got a few complaints that some parts were too tight and broke when you forced them together, and some people thought those parts were too loose. It's hard to target tolerances when there's so much difference in printer output, even to this day.

If you're talking about gluing the treads to the treadmount, my memory is that my prints were snug enough to align things correctly without much worries. (Again, it's been almost two years since I printed one, so my memory might be faulty). This is a model that definitely needs glue, so I didn't see the need to make everything capture. IIRC, the parts that are designed to snap-to-fit are the features I wanted to be poseable.

Regarding the back - On my prints, the fit was tight enough that the print lines acted like mini grippers, and the "flash" of both parts prevented the back from being pushed all the way in. I'm not sure that would happen on my printer today. I should've put something to capture that, or just made it as big as the front piece, so it's stays behind the main body part. I'm not sure why I decided against that. If yours is loose, maybe you can paint layers of thick glue to thicken the raised alignment thingies and/or the inside of the body piece?

Do you have any of the head accessories posted elsewhere? The hat and ears are great, but I'm looking forward to the sketches being realized.

It is possible to save 3d model into stl format?

The STLs are inside the zip files. Back when this model was posted, Thingiverse didn't have the automatic zip feature (download all), so I zipped the files for everyone's convenience.

Love the bunny ears for Easter. Class!

Hello Kongo. Sorry to contact you this way, but I was wondering if you'd be willing to do a talk or videochat to the Freeside Atlanta hackerspace during our 3D design and Printing workshop (February 9th). You have published a number of popular downloads and we would love to hear more about your design process. Hit me up off list if you are interested; sorry if I'm being a bother.

Great Idea, Great execution!!. It reminds me of watching Forbidden Planet as a kid on a Saturday afternoon. I can't wait to print one!!

Oh man, I WISH my local station showed "Forbidden Planet" when I was a kid. Instead, over the years, I had to watch the same Roger Corman movies over and over. Occasionally "The Time Machine" or "Planet of the Apes" when I was really lucky.

Yeah, BIG THANKS to the Blender devs! Been a user for ~10 years. It's come a long way in that time.

May I suggest, maybe some smoke stacks and or a steam whistle for the head ports?

Great! even desing plus all the other designs!

This. Is. Awesome. KTHX!

Now after I catch up on sleep I want to make one more for my desk too, then maybe we can get them together and kill all humans!

Loved this, had to make 3 for friends at work, left them alone over night and found them with suspicious redness on the claws and treads, hope it was not someone I knew?

I knew I forgot to put something on the box art -- the warning label!

I forgot to add these where all made with the color changing ABS, so when someone handles them they leave behind finger spots, I think it is how they track down and dispose of unwanted guests in your cubicle.

Amazing sir! I can't wait to see what else you make!

A little tip/request: could you include the clock dial variations as a vector based PDF? Maximum quality and no hit and miss to print the correct size. If difficult to do you could add info about the correct print size and/or include mm/inch marks in the PNG. Thanks :)

I tried the PDF route for my previous project. I used OS software and some of my playtesters had problems opening the files. It turned into a headache, so I switched to pngs, which didn't seem to cause any problems I know of (other than larger file sizes).

The png in the zip file is 300dpi, so quality should be fine. As long as "scale to fit" is off in your printer settings, it should be scaled just right. The image is only 8"x10" (including the white border), so no pesky printer driver will forcefully shrink it. You're right, though, having measurements in the png would've been a nice touch.

I can upload the original svg files if anybody wants to make improvements. They're only black and white, though. Coloring was done on exported bitmaps.

Great design! Love it! I checked Ebay for "quartz clock movement" and got a lot of hits. Less than $2 delivered.

Nice design. Do you have a Flattr account? I don't see one on this page, but I don't know if that's because of my flotilla of ad-blockers.

I just added flattr to my profile. Thanks for reminding me!

Well designed, elegant, clever, fun = clap clap clap !