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Why 3D print a mechanical watch? Because you can.

by • January 13, 2016 • No Comments

In 1772 John Harrison was finally best known for producing a watch that kept accurate adequate time to navigate by; it had taken him 42 years to get there. Watches are one of the most complex mechanical devices at any time created. That’s one of the reasons they are yet valuable, actually yet a bargain-priced Swatch keeps advantageous time.
It is in addition why I find Christoph Laimer’s 3D printed watch with tourbillon so absorbing. According to Wikipedia, “Originally an take on to improve accuracy, tourbillons are yet included in a few expensive modern watches as a novelty and demonstration of watchproducing virtuosity.”

It is in addition a demonstration of 3D printing virtuosity. Have a appear at one of my initially posts on 3D printing back in 2007; the individuals behind the initially home machine yett they can “sell three-dimensional creations over the Internet. This may allow individuals to print out replacements for a dishwasher rack at home.” And here we are, only eight years later, and individuals can print out tourbillons at home. Laimer explains why in an interview with Nicholas Manousous:
watchof video by Christof Laimer/Screen capture
When I bought my initially 3D printing device, I accomplished, that most individuals were createing “stupid” decoration pieces. I wanted a fewthing useful, and so I started experimenting with custom LEGO-gears for my children. Some iterations later I had created and printed the gear-train with hollow shafts for the 3 clock-hands, “only” the escapement was missing. That was the moment when I accomplished, that a clock is THE living creature, that finally created (it make) sense to own a 3D printing device.
It is nat any time going to win the Longitude Prize for accuracy, but it can a few day be a chapter in a book by Dava Sobel that appears at the history of 3D printing. Nicholas Manousous, a watchmaker, notes the importance:
This is an actual watch, with a tourbillon that is approximately entirely 3D printed. Think of it: the tourbillon – a 200+ year old invention created by one of the greatest watchmakers to at any time live, that for most of its history has been practically identified with hand-craftsmanship and high end watchproducing, has been generated in a working watch with a 3D printing device.
parts of watchChristof Laimer via Thingaverse/CC BY 2.0
Of course it in addition begs the question, why may you? If you want to have accuracy of a watch created by a desktop, my Apple Watch beats it hands down with its crystal temperature-control oscillator and its checks against 15 “Stratum One”-level Network Time Servers (NTP) that run the GPS satellites. Why create a silly plastic tourbillon?
Because you can. And that is only awe-inspiring.
Back in 2007 we wrote a lot of the possibility of what I called Downloadable creations (I hated the term 3D printing, considering it limited the thought to one innovation. But do.)
…we can download create on demand. It is like the music for our iPod; dematerialized bits and bytes put together again where we require it, without the waste of a physical intermediary.
And now you can download a masterpiece of engineering and create it by yourself on your home 3D printing device. Perhaps that time has come.
Here is a longer video explaining how it is created:

And if you are into Andy Warhol movies, or are having trouble falling asleep, here is the classic 3D printed watch with tourbillon: 6,240 Ticks of deadly Dullness

All of the related links are of our earliest posts, to show how far we have come in such a short time.


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by admin • March 5, 2017