I was inspired by my favorite childhood book, The Phantom Tollbooth. A main character is Tock, a dog with an alarm clock for a body. I decided to create my very own Tock since I wanted a nametag that was both meaningful and playful.
Since I liked the aesthetics of the clock, I wanted to use as much of it as possible. My initial idea was to create a 2½-d dog with a round cutout for the clock, a base that the dog could snap into, and a nose, ear, and paws to glue on.
After several attempts to draw a dog in Inkscape, I used the tracing tool to convert a bitmap image of the audio CD cover into paths. A challenge was extracting the boy and reorganizing the leftover nodes to make a whole dog. Once I got into the lab and took apart the clock, I discovered that the plastic the face was embedded in was square, not round. I contemplated removing the corners with a Dremel but decided that the additional contact area would be helpful. I used the Inkscape layout below for my first cardboard prototype.
In total, I made three cardboard prototypes. Changes I made along the way include: (1) resizing the dog and smoothing some of the lines so there was more material underneath the clock, (2) adding a back side to the dog, (3) adjusting the slot spacing so that the back side was flush with the clock, and (4) engraving the paws onto the base instead of gluing them on.
I chose wood for my final material since brown seemed like a natural color choice. I bought two 18x24 sheets of 1/8-inch birch wood from the PRL. Laser cutting the wood turned out to be much different than laser cutting cardboard. Even at a very low cutting speed, I had to print my design twice to make sure all of the cuts went through in addition to sanding down a few burrs that the laser left behind. I also noticed that the snap fits were looser even though the slots were sized to the wood thickness, so I experimented with different widths to find one that worked.
I had to use an Exacto knife and pliers to remove some of the ribs around the corners of the clock. Once it fit, I glued the clock, nose, and ear down with wood glue, and then left them to dry overnight. I put my nickname in vinyl letters on the front before assembling all of the pieces together. As a final step, I added a battery and now have a fully-functioning Tock Clock.
Here is the front and back view of the final product!