3D-printed Watch with Tourbillon

Prints (1)

Description

This is a mechanical watch with tourbillon driven by a 3d-printed mainspring. The watch has a Swiss lever escapement. The mainspring inside the going barrel keeps the watch running for approximately 30 Minutes. Accuracy is roughly one Second deviation within one Minute (depending on print-settings).

The project demonstrates that the 3D-printing technology is developing. Compared with earlier generations of 3d-printers, the process works more reliable and more accurately. However it's still a very advanced project, because printing inaccuracies need to be trimmed manually with some watchmaker skills, or the watch won't tick. The watch is designed with Autodesk Fusion 360, and printed with Ultimaker 2.

How it's made:

https://youtu.be/Go8woPGOggg

Assembly:

https://youtu.be/XiZAEaES2Ng

https://jig.space/view?jig=728 (Thanks to http://www.thingiverse.com/greenlig)

Assembly Time Lapse:

https://youtu.be/s3p25T6YlQc

Autodesk Fusion 360 Design: http://a360.co/1S4wp4W (all parts assembled) http://a360.co/1KUNz3g (main spring relaxed) Many thanks to Nicholas Manousos for his great article in HODINKEE explaining the importance of my project from a watchmakers perspective. His first 3d-printed Tourbillon 1000% was also a source of inspiration for my work.

Print Settings Printer Brand: Ultimaker Printer: Ultimaker 2 Rafts: No Supports: No Resolution: Normal (cura defaults) Infill: 30% Notes: 0.4 mm Nozzle

Only the Pawl Unlock Key needs to be printed with support.

Hairspring, Anchor, Escapement Wheel, and some gears were printed with high resolution (0.06mm layer, 0.8mm shell). All other parts are printed with normal resolution (0.1mm layer, 0.8mm shell).

The infill of the anchor is 80% in order to have a better balanced center of gravity (rest has 30% infill).

For the case I used PETG (slightly bendable, shock absorbing), and the gears are printed with PLA (harder and less friction). In colours: black and yellow parts are PETG, orange and red parts are PLA.

The Mainspring is printed with PETG (PLA probably breaks after a while). I switched off "combing" in Cura. While this is a cool feature for regular shaped parts, it causes problems with large spiral shaped parts: The print-head does many useless long (2 meters!) travelling moves. Printing not only takes 30% longer, it oozes during the move, and when continuing to print, the nozzle is empty of material, and the resulting under-extrusion is disastrous.

The Hairspring needs to be printed in PLA. Other material basically work as well, but due to different stiffness, it's expected, that the watch runs too slow, or too fast. The design of the spring needs to be changed depending on the material.

Printing on heated glass-bed. Used a mix of alcohol and water to clean it. Adhesion is exceptional. For removing the parts from the build plate I poured a few drops of the same alcohol mix into the groove between plastique and glass. The effect is miraculous and the part can be removed immediately without applying any force.

Make sure x- and y-axis of your printer are adjusted really square! My Ultimaker wasn't fabricated good enough (1-2mm slant) - the result were oval Minutes and Hours wheel, and they jammed at some angles.

Instructions Watch this video, if you like to understand, how the watch is constructed. These are all the Parts needed. 51 downloadable and printable, and some Pins and Screws.

Part List:

  • 1 Pin, Diameter 1.5 mm, Length 55.5 mm (tourbillon axis)
  • 1 Pin, Diameter 1.5 mm, Length 12 mm (anchor axis)
  • 1 Pin, Diameter 1.5 mm, Length 8.5 mm (planet gear axis)
  • 3 Pins, Diameter 2 mm, Length 57 mm (axis for pinions for minutes and hours wheel)
  • 6 Pins, Diameter 2 mm, Length 22 mm (axis for basic transmission)
  • 1 Pin, Diameter 2 mm, Length 15 mm (attachment main spring)
  • 1 Pin, Diameter 3 mm, Length 22.5 mm (axis for main spring)
  • 1 Pin, Diameter 3 mm, Length 31 mm (axis for main pinion)
  • 3 Washers, Diameter 3 mm (main spring, pinion)
  • 6 Washers, Diameter 2 mm (transmission)
  • 5 Washers, Diameter 1.5 mm (tourbillon, escapement)
  • 5 Screws, Diameter 1.8 mm, Length 6.5 mm (ratchet pawls)
  • 5 Screws, Diameter 1.5 mm, Length 5 mm (going barrel)
  • 4 Screws, Diameter 1.5 mm, Length 10 mm (base plate)
  • 4 Screws, Diameter 1.8 mm, Length 12 mm (clock face)
  • 3 Screws, Diameter 1.5 mm, Length 10 mm (tourbillon cage)

Small holes are usually not very accurately printed. Use a drill to smooth the inner surface - especially the Balance Wheel needs to rotate with very little friction, and very little play. If you don't find pins or screws with the recommended diameter, you can certainly use little larger pieces - there is some "meet" which can be drilled out.

Spring Barrel Assembly: Align the Barrel like in the picture below. It will then slide into the case like in the video (2:49). The Pawl Unlock Key is also a useful tool to keep the pawls in place during this assembly step.

Besides the Winding Key there is also a Key to unlock the Ratchet Pawls. I recommend to fully unwind/relax the Main Spring, when the watch is not used. It certainly will extend the life-time.

Have fun! :-)

Design Files

File Size

GearsMinutesE.stl
752 KB
SpringWindingKey.stl
2.13 MB
WasherM1.5.stl
120 KB
TourbillonEscapementSunGearT16.stl
452 KB
TourbillonSecondsHand.stl
30.4 KB
TourbillonCageFront.stl
140 KB
GearsHoursF.stl
840 KB
SpringPinionBearingBlock.stl
376 KB
TourbillonAnchor.stl
148 KB
SpringRelaxed.stl
941 KB
GearsHoursE2.stl
241 KB
SpringPinion.stl
855 KB
GearsHoursA1.stl
704 KB
GearsMinutesD2.stl
697 KB
CaseHook.stl
504 KB
CaseTourbillonBearingFront.stl
318 KB
GearsMinutesB.stl
825 KB
CaseMinutesWheelBearing.stl
239 KB
CaseTourbillonBearingFrontV1.stl
295 KB
GearsMinutesC.stl
726 KB
GearsMinutesHand.stl
39.4 KB
ChainLinks.stl
257 KB
GearsHoursA3_Clamp.stl
307 KB
SpringCase.stl
1.06 MB
GearsHoursB.stl
631 KB
SpringGoingBarrelBox.stl
1.72 MB
SpringRatchetPawls.stl
260 KB
SpringPawlUnlockKey.stl
272 KB
WasherM3.0.stl
128 KB
TourbillonPlanetGearT40.stl
350 KB
SpringGoingBarrelCoverGearT40.stl
2.66 MB
TourbillonHairSpring.stl
606 KB
WasherM2.0.stl
123 KB
TourbillonBalanceWheelPin.stl
130 KB
SpringRatchetGear.stl
237 KB
TourbillonCageMiddleA.stl
123 KB
TourbillonCageBack.stl
254 KB
TourbillonCageMiddleB.stl
125 KB
TourbillonBalanceWheel.stl
632 KB
SpringRatchetPawlsRing.stl
872 KB
GearsHoursE1.stl
761 KB
GearsHoursHand.stl
26.4 KB
GearsHoursD.stl
491 KB
GearsHoursC.stl
582 KB
GearsHoursA2.stl
694 KB
CaseBasePlate.stl
1.26 MB
ChainRings.stl
250 KB
SpringArborBushing.stl
50.4 KB
GearsMinutesD1.stl
557 KB
GearsMinutesA.stl
847 KB
CaseHoursWheelBearing.stl
195 KB
GearsMinutesD3_Clamp.stl
307 KB
CaseCenterPlate.stl
944 KB
CaseFaceTicks.stl
190 KB

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