The nocturnal (or nocturlabe) is a very old instrument for telling time at night by measuring the stars. While concept is ancient, this design is all original. It is fully functional (all dials move properly) and meant to be worn as a pendant. This is now available for sale, as it has been tested and works nicely.
How to Use the Nocturnal:
The top of the nocturnal is where you see a bit of a ring around a spike. This ring can be strung with a chain and makes it possible to wear the nocturnal as a pendant. When reading the nocturnal, this end of the piece should always be up.
Your first step is to set the outermost dial on the date. The months are shown as letters, with January and December at the top, and the progression of the months running *counterclockwise*. Note that the exact position of the letter actually marks the middle of that month. Look closer at the piece and you will see the line that separates the months between the letters.
Now, hold your nocturnal up to the starry night sky, making sure that the date is still properly set. Locate the North Star centred in the hole in the middle of the Nocturnal. Then use the central dial (the one that looks like a pointer) to point to the two stars at the end of the bowl of the *big* dipper.
Once you have this all set. Look closer at the pointer and you will see that within the pointer is an eliptical ring and within this is a smaller pointer. This smaller pointer points to a roman numeral, which shows you the time.
Note again, that the roman numeral is centred on the middle of the hour. So, if the little pointer points in the centre of the numeral, it is in fact half past.
So now you can tell time at night without a powered time piece. This is great for night owls, vampires, and those who appreciate a gothic or steampunk look.
I'm experimenting with telling a story using minimal material to save on printing cost while inspiring the imagination.
The Zebra head works well, I've concentrated on only printing the black parts leaving the white empty. It is available in BSF and WSF. Both materials tell a different story.
Please send your pictures and share your thoughts on the design.
You'll receive five parts unconnected and undyed. Follow these instructions: 1. Clean the parts with cold water and soft brushing to remove support material remaining from the 3d printing. 2. Dip the parts in cold tea for a couple of hours. Holes will get more dyed because of the support material trapped in them. The slider part doesn't have marks, but with the dying will get as yellowish as the other parts. 3. Paint with black ink the marks. Let dry the ink and then remove it with a wet sheet. This way, ink only remains in the marks. In the photo the slider and some zones of the rings weren't inked so they maintained the yellow tone because tea dyes all no flat surfaces. The hour ring has marks on both sides, but only one needs to be dyed. 4. Enter the slider with a little pressure through the slit of the central (month) bar. It's only possible over June and July marks. Then move the slider to the desired month and day mark. Each mark represents two days. 5. Deform lightly the meridian ring (the bigger one) in order to insert the hour ring. Be sure that both rings have their dyed faces on the same side when in folded position. 6. Deform again the latitude ring to put the central bar in position. Check the photo for the right orientation. 7. Finally, insert the eyelet through the "jasolo fecit" part of the meridian ring and displace it to the latitude value of your location. To improve the sliding of the eyelet, you can clean the path with a stick before the insertion (again the support material).
Even fidget toys get to have a "2.0" . An updated version of the popular "One ring to rule the ball" design with fewer twists, thicker wire, and a bigger ball, "One ring to pwn the ball" takes its steampunk ancestry in a smooth, contemporary direction that's twice as ruthless with your mind--it seems doubly impossible that this ball could be solidly contained by just one short, twisting wire. With no hole in the middle for a rubber or leather strap, you'll have to go to http://www.shapeways.com/model/145208/one_ring_to_pwn_the_ball_pendant.html to wear it around your neck. But in both cases you'll get solid stainless steel with optional bronze antiquing or gold plating, and a look that ties brains in knots.
For the classic "One ring to rule the ball" design, now available on a pay-what-you-want basis, go to http://www.shapeways.com/model/52936/one_ring_to_rule_the_ball.html . To learn more about this design or other work from Terra Cotta, visit our website at http://www.terracottapf.com
Ima Ring is a thumb ring and a sundial at the same time. The name comes from the japanese kanji "ima" engraved on the ring, which means "now". It has two holes and two scales to show the hour during spring-summer and autumn-winter. When working as sundial, it can be placed on a horizontal surface or suspended from a chain.
This ring has been tested successfully with Frosted Detail material. Its internal diameter is 2 cm and the hour lines correspond to latitude 41º N. Depending on the interest, I could make this model personalizable: diameter, latitude and engraving.