Midterm Prototype

This weekend I drew and measured several iterations of my clock on paper, cardboard and in Illustrator. I now feel relatively confident about my design, but I have questions on how to translate this to the CNC router.

I first researched displays. I looked at a lot of the single and dual digit displays on Sparkfun, Adafruit and Tinskersphere, but in the end I realized that the different sizes of the digits on my display would make using those displays difficult. So, currently, I’ve settled on using an LCD display. The one I think would work best is the 2.8″ TFT LCD with Cap Touch Breakout Board w/MicroSD Socket from Adafruit.

I then built a prototype out of cardboard and Gorilla tape. As I built it I changed the design a bit. I decided that instead of the routed lines at the bottom, that I would make the size of the clock overall smaller and change the shape of the display. I also decided that I wanted to use a different material (instead of wood veneer), like vinyl or thin acrylic, to make the screen.


From there, I drew each side of the clock to size in Illustrator. Even though I won’t be building the clock this way, I wanted to make sure I really understood how the shape would come together.


Then, I tried to translate the drawings into a drawing for the CNC router.


I feel pretty good about where I’ve gotten to so far, but now I have a number of questions about materials and how to get this on the CNC router.


  • Is the LCD screen the right way to go for this?
  • I’m thinking of using poplar for my wood. Does vinyl make sense to use for the display? Will the LCD shine through this? Is there another material I should consider? Acrylic?
  • The only way I can think of routing this is to route from both sides. Is there a better way that I am missing?
  • How do I do the bevelled edge on the CNC router?
  • What should I do about the back? Right now I’m planning on routing out most of the inside from the back, to make room for the power source and screen. Then I am thinking of screwing on a second piece of thin wood as the back. If I do this, is there an easy way to make it removable?