makeSEA Classic Projects


Oct OClock


It’s time to rediscover time. In the digital age humans are still analog beings. Oct O'Clock transforms the time into decorative patterns, and leaves it up to you, how exactly to read the time.

The Oct O'Clock is mainly designed as a wall decoration, which also shows the time. It’s simple to roughly read the time, and more difficult to read it very accurately. Time becomes an experience. Many people complain about not having enough time. The Oct O'Clock should remind us, that we can determine, how much time we want for our needs. Instead of dictating a rhythm, the Oct O'Clock gives us time for the important things like ease, calm, leisure, creativity and love.

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The clock is a joint work by Daniel Barth (children's and youth psychiatry, and Christoph Laimer (industrial designer, software engineer, We merged our ideas and our knowledge, and with the Oct O'Clock we created a clock, which creates different octagonal patterns depending on the time. The parts are easily 3d-printed, and the clock can be assembled without special watchmaker knowledge.



The number 12 was established as base unit for the time - not only because the moon orbits 12 times per year around the earth, but also because 12 can be divided by 2, 3, 4, and 6. The Oct O'Clock combines the numbers 8 and 12. The hours hand of a regular clock and also of the Oct O'Clock rotates once per 12 hours. While the minutes hand rotates 360 degrees in one hour on a normal clock, the secondary hand of the Oct O'Clock rotates only 60° degrees but counterclockwise per hour. The hands on the Oct O'Clock are not traditional pointers, but four squares arranged around a main axle. The motion over time results in exciting patterns and symmetries, which are repeated hourly in slightly changed angles.



Mechanical Construction

The Oct O'Clock consists of simple shaped pieces, which can be easily fabricated with a common FDM-printer. The individual parts are put together without additional screws. The only non 3d-printed component is a battery driven movement, which acts as a motor.

Instead of the minute hand there is a small 3d-printed gear attached to the battery movement. It drives the hour hand by a two stage reduction. For driving the secondary hand, an additional gear engages with the reduction gear, and it also reverses the direction.

12-hour animation of the Oct O'Clock:


Time lapse video of the clock in action:


12-hour animation of alternative clock design:


Detailed Building Instruction

Purchase/Download Parts

First of all a small battery driven movement needs to be purchased. We have them available in the Mash Market:

Purchase Non-Commercial Use License

Buy Clock Movement

There are many similar models. Most of them are compatible. The following dimensions are important:

  • Diameter of the drive shaft for the minutes hand: 3.7 mm
  • Length of the drive shaft for the minutes hand: 13 - 21 mm
  • Diameter of the main nut: 7.6 mm
  • Enclosure Length and Width: max. 56 mm
  • Enclosure Height: max. 16 mm

Obtain 3D-Printer Files

Best Price on the Internet!  We'll beat any listed price on these items - Get exclusive access to the CAD files here!

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(note: the STL files are all that is needed for printing.  The CAD+STL files are available optionally, if you want to modify the design.)

The parts for enclosure and the gears of the Oct O'Clock are all 3d-printed. Common 3d-printers like Ultimaker, Makerbot, Prusa, or similar are suitable. If you don't own a 3d-printer, you can use a service like or

Printing the Parts

All parts can be 3d-printed with the same settings. A layer thickness of 0.15 mm and 30% infill work very well. PETG is recommended as a material, but also PLA or ABS are suitable. The mechanical stress is low and the selection of the material is uncritical. All parts can be printed without support material. Each part has a flat side, which can be placed on the printbed. The ideal orientation of all parts is shown in the following illustration:

The eight squares (wings) for the hands are identical, except for one square, which has a round recess for the indicator of the hour. Also identical are the four clips which lock the pieces of the housing. There are 2 variants for the secondary hand, so that the squares overlap either on the full hour, or on half of the hour. There are also 2 variants of the drive gear, suitable for a movement with a long or a short neck. Of course, only one variant needs to be printed.

After printing, a few unwanted artifacts may need to be cleaned. In particular, the gears must move very smoothly. For this purpose, the bearings can be drilled with a suitable drill. A drill press simplifies the work, and the holes remain vertical. The required drills have a diameter of 5 mm, 6 mm, 9.5 mm and 10 mm, respectively. Drill as slowly as possible and at low speeds so that the plastic doesn't melt!

Assembling the Clock Part 1

Assembly is quite simple:

1. Start with "Frame Level 1".

2. Install "Hours Gear" and "Other Gear": In order to align the hands at the proper angle, all the gears have an arrow-like mark. These arrows must point towards 12 o'clock.

3. As next install "Frame Level 2", "Reversing Gear", "Frame Level 3", "Reduction Gear", and finally "Frame Level 4".

4. The entire frame with the transmission is now placed onto "Frame Base". The four clips "Frame Clip" must be pushed through the recesses. It's recommended to first assemble two diagonal clips. On the inside of the housing, check that all clips are properly snapped. A small screwdriver may help.

Assembling the Clock Part 2

5. Continue with "Frame Logo" and "Frame Base"

6. Now the battery movement is installed and attached with the supplied nut. The "Drive Gear" is simply clamped on the drive shaft of the minute hand.

Assembly of the Hands

7. Hour hand and secondary hand are the next parts. "Hour Hand Index" needs to be clipped into the recess of "Hour Hand A0". "Hour Hand A1" is used 7 times as wings for both hands. These are simply snapped on the centerpieces "Other Hand Mount" and "Hour Hand Mount".

8. Finally, the hands are mounted on the axles. First the secondary hand "Other Hand Mount", then the hour hand "Hour Hand Mount". Maybe they are already fixed firmly enough. Otherwise the clamping can be improved with some tape. It is best to mount the hands so that all the gears and the hands are pointing towards 12 O'Clock. If the clamping is still too loose, the hour hand can also be fixed with a small screw or with some glue.

Finished! Just insert a battery, set the current time and hang the clock on the wall. The time can be adjusted most accurately every quarter hour. At a quarter-to and a quarter-past the corners of the squares are touching each other. If the hands are not perfectly vertical at 12:00, the orientation of the gears should be verified.

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About Me

Christoph Laimer


makeSEA Chief 3D Designer

Award winning 3D designer, Christoph is responsible for some of the most innovative designs, observations, and insights available on the makeSEA registry. Hailing from Zurich, Switzerland, a stronghold for master tradesmen and creatives since the 12th century, Christoph couples his formal expertise in electrical engineering and software development with his passion for mechanics to design 3D printable mechanical clocks, motors, and a variety of scalable components and usable objects. He is also a primary contributor to the makeSEA wiki and blog, where he records invaluable results and observations from his 3D printing experiments, which are used as a reference manual for other 3D print engineers and enthusiasts.

After completing the masters degree in Electrical Engineering at the ETH, Zurich, Christoph worked as a software developer - initially in semiconductor industries, and later in life science. Designing and creating innovative software, interacting with customers, and managing a small team of software developers was his passion.

Always taken with mechanical constructions, Christoph designed and experimented with RC model airplanes. With the advent of 3d-printing, Christoph found a new type of creativity, focusing on mechanical watches. His imagination and 3D printing allow him to transform his "crazy" ideas into reality. His belief that future watches will be highly customisable - not only engraving, ornaments or decoration, but real complex objects combining mechanics and electronics - has led him to explore and push the boundaries for 3D printing, combining advanced mechanics and pleasing aesthetics in the process.

Christoph Laimer named as Winner of the Share Prize, 2016

Recently, Christoph was awarded the top prize for his 3DPrinted Tourbillon Watch at the Piemonte Share Festival in May, 2016. The Share festival is an international competition that promotes and supports contemporary art in the digital age. Christoph was awarded the top prize for his 3DPrinted Tourbillon Watch.

This attractive domestic timepiece adds flair to any living room, and is a functional Swiss clock that is almost entirely 3D printed. The Watch is open-source, so every working piece of it is open for inspection, on the web and in the home as well.