The World's First Digital Sundial, Made Possible with 3D Printing

Time, the elusive measurement of entropy that ticks away our moments until death (and possible rebirth?). That measurement has mutated from simple sundials to complex smartwatches without its actual meaning ever being any more salient. What up with that? For those of you too busy for pontificating on the nature of time, but with enough time to 3D print a device for its measurement, consider the 3D printed Digital Sundial from French design studio Mojoptix. Now, you can be equally tech savvy and troglodytic with a single tool.

mojoptix 3D printed digital sundial

The Digital Sundial is simultaneously a sundial and a digital clock, using precise holes to cast shadows corresponding with the time of day. Mojoptix writes, “No batteries, no motor, no electronics… It’s all just a really super-fancy shadow show. The shape of the sundial has been mathematically designed to only let through the right sunrays at the right time/angle. This allows to display the actual time with sunlit digits inside the sundial’s shadow.”

Before you get ahead of yourself and burn the clocks in your home (and your smartphone), the sundial only actually covers the times between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm, updating every 20 minutes. To set the time, the user simply rotates the sundial’s gnomon. This makes it possible to adjust the time for time zones or Daylight Savings Time. For those with access to a 3D printer, the files are available for free download from Thingiverse. For everyone else, Mojoptix will make one for you for about $80.