Above: The etched pattern on the front panel is inspired by the decorative astronomical calendars on sundials and then represnted abstractly. Vertical supports were fabricated from styrene tube and threads were created using a tap and die set.
Above: The final model, created using 3D printer (ABS). The timepiece had a removable faceplates.
Above: Orthographic views of the assembly. The actual lamp sits horizontally on a wall and projects light and shadow to depict time.
HIGH-FIDELITY PROTOTYPING: AUSENCIA CLOCK
Task: This is a wall-mounted timepiece that uses shadows as its primary means to show time. Inspired by historical sundials and Dieter Rams' minimalist approach, Ausencia both ancient and modern technology to express time.
Teaching Focus: The objective of this exercise was to have students design and fabricate a functioning artifact (in this case a shadow clock) exclusively using CAD and rapid prototyping technology (3D printer) with a minimum of hand fabrication.
Overall, the students who fabricated this piece were successful, only requiring a tap and die set to create threaded vertical supports. Ironically, the automated benefits of using a 3D printer created its own challenges for students. In some cases misaligned or plugged print heads created parts with were flawed or lacking robustness. This, in conjunction to long fabrication times created its own difficulties in completing the project.