Ongoing Project Using SketchUp

Hey Everybody,
Thought you all might like to see one of the projects I’ve been working on for the last few years. It’s recently taken a lot of my time so I’ve been less active than I like to be on the forum, turns out it’s hard to get internet from inside a mountain in Texas. It’s a large scale mechanical clock that is designed to keep time for 10000 years.

Of course, I’m not permitted to share the files but I thought you would all get a kick out of knowing that much of my scope of work for the project is being designed in SketchUp. I’m having to trade models and file types with collaborators all over the world who are using some very sophisticated software and I hear all the time, “That looks really clean, what CAD package are you using?” I proudly say SketchUp.

Be back soon, I still have loads of questions.


Nice! I have to ask, is it a clock in a missile silo?
Which would make it a minuteman clock.


Ok, so I was right about it being a clock. Looks wonderful, love clocks.
Excellent, found the web page, will delve deeper later.

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I don’t know what to say :open_mouth: . This is absolutely amazing! A mechanical clock that size!
A 150 m deep hole with a spiral helical staircase all the way down! Drawn in SketchUp! :open_mouth: :open_mouth: :open_mouth:

Well, not the whole thing drawn in SU (hole thing, ha!) just some aspects that I’m responsible for. The entire mechanical has taken years to design and model by many very smart folks in a variety of software. And you are so right of course, didn’t we just have this conversation on the forum? It’s a Helical staircase, good catch, what’s more every step is unique, the steps start wide and deep at the bottom and every step is incrementally smaller over the run of the whole staircase.

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Impressive but what is it for? I hope that’s not a dumb question!

Read about it Here.

Thanks. I think they address my question thus:

“Why would anyone build a Clock inside a mountain with the hope that it will ring for 10,000 years? Part of the answer: just so people will ask this question, and having asked it, prompt themselves to conjure with notions of generations and millennia.”

Kinda crazy and fascinating all at once but I’m glad people do this kind of thing. I see that Brian Eno was involved.

I’ve read a little about the Long Now Foundation over the past few years. I like the audacious scope of the project! Congratulations @endlessfix for being a contributor.

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Then there is this musical performance: As Slow as Possible - Wikipedia

I like to see the size of the clock hands!!! :joy::joy::joy::joy:

Very impressed! Great work.

How can you be inside a mountain? … Oh wow, you’re lucky to be involved in that project.

“Which would make it a minuteman clock”
Cute, MINUTE-man clock.

Not a dumb question at all, but a complicated one. The explination you visited on the web is a pretty well written. I have the luxury of relating to the project as an opportunity to solve some very unique and complex rigging and force management problems, so I just sink my teeth into the work and I often forget about the big “why” question. To paraphrase those who are smarter and better writers than me: The world faces some serious mounting problems that can only be solved with long term multi generational commitments and the clock is a monument to long term thinking and planning. Inspiration to consider the future. Yes, Brian Eno is working on the chime composition.


True, the world is facing “serious mounting problems” but it always has. Rome trying to conquer the world comes to mind, but I don’t see how a clock can solve this problem. :frowning:

But awesome video. Thanks for sharing!

Flying to the moon didn’t solve our problems either.
But it continues to enlighten humanity to its place and responsibilities.

The words of Michael Collins, Command Module Pilot, Apollo 11

When we flew to the moon, our population was 3 billion; today it has more than doubled and is headed for 8 billion, the experts say. I do not think this growth is sustainable or healthy. The loss of habitat, the trashing of oceans, the accumulation of waste products - this is no way to treat a planet.


In order to address the earth’s expanding population growth, scientists have begun to explore the potential for creating habitable environments in the oceans and, thinking even more long term, on extraterrestrial sites. When either of these concepts approach reality it will certainly trigger a significant real property boom.

That’s kinda the point, it’s a metaphor rather than a solution. It is attempting to show us the shortsightedness of mankind. How we all live in the now and not the then. Even the Romans are in the now compared to the time the clock represents.
Unless we start looking at things with a view to the long-term, there will be no long-term, not for mankind at least. Perhaps future generations of cockroaches will admire the technical intricacies of the clock buried under the magic plastic mountain.


:+1: Spot on. I don’t know WHY the “powers that be” allow this to continue. I, personally, only have to put my trash can out every 3 weeks or so. Sorry to get off topic endless fix!

I think this conversation is exactly on topic and actually demonstrates one aspect of the clocks “purpose” very well.
Now, if I can just figure out how to build this next section.:thinking: