Rhei – The Liquid Clock by Damjan Stankovic

Rhei is a new take on the same old flip clock that people used in the past a lot. Damjan Stankovic’s wish was to create a mechanical device that imitates a digital world in the real or analog world. Read on and enjoy!

Name searching was very long process that i asked my girlfriend to do since she is very talented for that. I was insisting that the clock has only 4 letters in name, so i can write the name of the clock on the 7-segment display that it has. In a way, i wanted ti to be able to say its name, which meant that some letters were not in the game like Q, W, M, Z etc. The word Rhei is from greek and it means “stream”, like in “panta rhei”.

– Damjan Stankovic

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I guess my introduction to ferrofluid. Once i saw the ferrofluid toy i was instantly hooked. I played with it a lot and started thinking if its possible to freeze it in a moment and maybe even display some information. Gradually, i figured out that numbers are pretty easy to create, so i needed a device that shows numbers and that often changes, so the clock was basically the result of that exploration.

– Damjan Stankovic

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The process was very long and hard. At first i thought it will be easy and i will simply connect the ferrofluid screen with electromagnets and they will do the trick, but i got some results that i wasn’t happy with. Ferrofluid separated in drops, and i was not able to make a uniform shape for number, thats connected and that looks like liquid. Also, ferrofluid was really hard to work with because you have to make a lot of trials and errors to make it not stain the glass container. Finally after months of testing i decided to build a mechanical structure that will move permanent magnets and move the ferrofluid.

– Damjan Stankovic

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Mostly my car. It took a lot of kilometers of driving back and forth to buy materials, then take it to machining and then go to my workshop to assemble. And then again and again. Every day. As for software, i used photoshop and especially illustrator to make vector drawings for machinning, but after some time i realized that i wont be able to finish it without some CAD software. I learned solidworks to build the whole assembly for machining.

– Damjan Stankovic

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Idea was mine, but for all the knowledge i read a lot of articles and saw a lot of youtube videos on internet. Yeah as i mentioned one challenge was to solve the ferrofluid staining. Another was to keep the number unified, and for that i had to go with mechanics. Mechanics were a challenge on their own, because its really hard to build something like this in Belgrade where we dont have hackerspaces and different places where you can come and do some machining.

– Damjan Stankovic

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There were a lot of revisions of parts that i needed to make to work. I had probably around a 50 revisions of separate parts, but once i got 1 number right, there were no revisions after that, since there were no unknowns.

– Damjan Stankovic

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photo-damjan-stankovic

About Damjan Stankovic

Damjan Stankovic is a graphic designer that works in fields of interaction and user interface design. Since he was young, he always loved mechanics and things that do something. So, this happy quickly grow and turned to be his day job. You can find more of his works on his Behance profile.