Alien3D Hourglass assembled and working

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I posted about the November 2021 Alien3D UFO subscription box earlier this week. I briefly looked at my print results of the included filament samples in that post. In this post, I will blog about the included electronics project. The project is a digital hourglass designed by Fernando.

The 3D printed parts.

The STL files for the project were made available on PrusaPrinters.org. I didn’t get very fancy printing this. Since I already had IIIDMax Candy Red PLA in the printer I was going to print the hourglass with, I chose to print the pieces with that color. If I really liked the project, I figured I could always go back and print it in a more premium filament.

Below is a picture of the printed parts. I only had supports on the top piece, where the power button goes.

Printed parts for the hourglass.

Adding the electronics

Electronics added to the hourglass.

I then followed the instructions at the PrusaPrinters.org site to assemble the electronics. This is one project I didn’t really make any changes to. I used F-F DuPont connectors to connect everything. The only soldering I did was the two leads going to the power switch. I did create a y-cable with DuPont connectors for one of the ground connections.

I did find that my M3 screws did not fit in the holes at all. To make the screws fit better, I used a 3mm tap. The tapped holes made mounting the electronics go much smoother.

Closing the hourglass went more straightforward than I thought it would. First, I ensured all the parts were put in the hourglass bottom. Then I went corner by corner and got the Pillars into their place. Once the hourglass is together, the pillars are tight enough to hold the hourglass together.

Completed Hourglass.

Demo of the hourglass in action

Here is a video of the hourglass in action. The accelerometer is working perfectly. The digital sand grains flow down whenever the hourglass is flipped. I would definitely call this a successful project.

Conclusion

This was a great project. Now that I’ve finished the project, I will reprint all of the components again in a more premium filament. I’m thinking of a cherry wood filament for the hourglass body. Then for the internal “glass,” I’m thinking of using an ivory or marble filament. After doing that, I will likely hot glue the wiring inside the hourglass to ensure they don’t come loose.

Song of the Day: Time

I found this classic Pink Floyd song to be appropriate for this post.

Bonus Song: Fly Like An Eagle

This track from the Steve Miller Band also comes to mind when talking about time. If you’ve never heard this version of the song, you are in for quite a treat.

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