Delcam’s Power Solution software has been used in the creation of a mechanical clock designed to keep precise time for 10,000 years. Delcam’s contribution has been in supporting the manufacture of a cam (pictured).
The cam is a physical representation of an Equation Of Time (EOT) and is required to adjust for the fact that the solar day continually varies in length. The clock adjusts to true solar time via the action of the cam.
The clock is a project of the USA-based Long Now Foundation, which was founded in 1996 by a group of scientists and thinkers who sought to create a lasting cultural institution that would provide a “slower/better” counterpoint to society’s increasingly “faster/cheaper” frame of mind. It is the brainchild of scientist, engineer, and Foundation board member Danny Hillis, who in the mid-1980s pioneered the parallel computing techniques that gave birth to hyper-fast supercomputers.
In the final version of the clock, which will be 30 feet tall and sheltered in a white limestone cliff in Nevada, the EOT cam will be about 5 ft. Currently, the Long Now Foundation is preparing 6 in tall cast bronze replicas of the cam as display and promotional models. Applied Minds, Mr. Hillis’ R & D company in Glendale, California, is machining an aluminium version of the model that will be used to make the mould for the replica cams.
With the EOT equation transformed into a 3D stereolithography file, Delcam’s West Coast sales partner used CopyCAD reverse engineering software to convert the STL file into a smooth 3D surface file. Engraved lines were added to the model with the PowerSHAPE hybrid modeller and the complete cam then machined with PowerMILL CAM programs created by Applied Minds.
Author: Andrew Allcock