3D printing parts
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Thread: 3D printing parts

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  1. #1
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    3D printing parts

    Does anyone have any experience 3D printing watch parts, specifically movement spacers? Trying to gauge whether it's practical to try to go this road in an effort to adapt a movement to a case, or if the tech just isn't precise enough for it to be worth it.


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  2. #2
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    3d printing is good enough for spacers, cases and such. Typical home printers can.manage them. Have a search hereabouts for my lumoholic watch.
    For actual movement parts I think a near net shape would be possible with the latest commercial tech, but it would still need accurate finishing.

    Dave

  3. #3
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    Re: 3D printing parts

    I use a Makerbot Replicator 2 and I find the resolution fairly limited. It performs well for general geometric shapes and such but is lacking when printing fine details or type below ~9 points.

    I am playing around with printing a positive, creating a silicone mold negative and casting metal filled epoxy for items that require extended wear characteristics with good results. Mind you, this is for production equipment parts and doesn't require anywhere near the accuracy of timepiece movements.

    My printer is about 8 years old and the state of current 3D technology has jumped leaps and bounds since then. I hear that current units ~ $1000 had resolution of about 20 microns!


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  4. #4
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    Re: 3D printing parts

    I also tried to print cases but found that the material is too inhomogenious to reach a good quality!

    I also think that unreinforced ABS or PLA are much to weak for the daily wear!!

    Therefore I trust in routing!!!
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  5. #5
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    The lumoholic watch is printed in ABS on my reprap Huxley. Its had regular wear for just over a year now and is still fine. I've also printed some trial cases in PLA which also seem plenty tough enough for normal use.
    There are commercially printed metal cases that appear here from time to time, I imagine that they are OK too.

    Dave

  6. #6
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    @webicons - the lumoholic was initially a trial to see if I liked the shape. I then tweaked the cad slightly and scaled it for shrinkage as a pattern for bronze lost wax castings. The craze of 3d printing has forgotten a little that the other name is rapid prototyping -which it is well suited to

    Dave
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  7. #7
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    Re: 3D printing parts

    I was actually thinking about this to make a spacer for fitting an nh35a into a 7002 case.


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  8. #8
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    Re: 3D printing parts

    SUre "printed" SSteel or Titanium will fit the needs but you probably will have to rework the functional areas ans so the effort is not the same ... it is more like a preworked ( rather expensive) stock material!!!

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