The use of plastic 3D printers in the watch world?
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Thread: The use of plastic 3D printers in the watch world?

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  1. #1
    Member plainsimple's Avatar
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    Feb 2012

    The use of plastic 3D printers in the watch world?

    The 3d printer has already been a topic here on WUS in several threads. Some of them hypothetical and some even producing parts, such as metal bezels for g-shocks and watch cases.

    However, I was thinking of the possibilities in the watch world with 3D printers with plastic only abilities, since they are getting cheaper and more widely available and will probably be in a lot of home in the coming years.

    For the watch world I can think of these application using plastic 3D prints:

    1. This one excites me the most: Say you like a certain watch, but it is not available in the local stores to try on to see how it fit on your wrist. Solution: Print a sample case in plastic and you can see how it fits your wrist!

    This technology could become a possibility from another technology that is also advancing: 3d scanning. This could make it possible for other forums member to scan their watches, upload a 3D print file for other forum members to download and print a plastic watch sample. All in your own home.

    Some links of possible upcoming 3D scanning products:
    Structure Sensor: Capture the World in 3D by Occipital — Kickstarter
    Rubicon 3D scanner by Robert Mikelson and Grant Cox — Kickstarter

    2. pakupakuman made a post in the G-Shock forums aboutprinting molds for making resin-based bezels. This would be very useful for those older models where it is difficult to obtain a new one.
    Link to his post:

    This also reminds of a post from Yeuman, where he posted pictures of an not too old Seiko with resin parts that were totally ruined. Ageing of Plastic Parts – SKZ227 Mapmeter | Yeoman's Watch Review

    The possibilities of either making straight replacement parts or molds would be very useful here for watches with plastic details.

    3. Movement holders for specific calibers when repairing/assembling movement.
    Something like this:
    Name:  SeikoMvmtHolders.jpg
Views: 325
Size:  36.6 KB

    4. Making customized or replacement chapter rings. Though, these would require post work, such as painting etc.

    What possibilities do you see of a home use plastic 3D printer?
    Ottovonn likes this.

  2. #2
    Member little big feather's Avatar
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    Mar 2013

    Re: The use of plastic 3D printers in the watch world?

    Interesting .......
    Any watches posted may be seen as gifts,borrowed or found property and not as personal property of Little Big Feather.

  3. #3
    Member jollyboyjon's Avatar
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    Aug 2011

    Re: The use of plastic 3D printers in the watch world?

    3D printing is a method still in its infancy which will grow arms and legs at an alarming rate. I like the idea of printing a model of watch to try on. I think that would really get a hold of me and I could easily end up with 3D printed watches from all the giants. A Rolex Daytona, an IWC Portuguese and a Patek Calatrava. That would be alot of fun.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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  5. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012

    Re: The use of plastic 3D printers in the watch world?

    I think its even better. Michigan Tech has developed low cost metal printer. Exciting times ahead :)

  6. #5
    Member AussieLoads's Avatar
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    Apr 2013
    Sydney, Australia

    Re: The use of plastic 3D printers in the watch world?

    3D printing is a very exciting, and very frightening technology.

    Regarding its use in the watch industry, I think the first thing I'd do if I had 3D printing capacity, is model a mechanical movement and see if I can't make something like a giant escapement mechanism. I'm sure it'd be easily done.
    Omega Seamaster Professional Planet Ocean 8500 Omega Speedmaster Professional 3572.50 Maurice Lacroix Pontos Day/Date Casio G-Shock DW-9052 TAG Heuer Formula 1 Lavina Manual Wind (Vintage 1940s) Swiss Military 6-512.15 Titanium

  7. #6
    Member enkidu's Avatar
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    Mar 2010
    SFBay Area

    Re: The use of plastic 3D printers in the watch world?

    The new economics of 3d printing, in particular extrusion and sintering, are rapidly changing the manufacturing landscape. When combined with 2d, 3d, and multi-axis machining the custom manufacturing possibilities are being forever altered for the better.
    Nomos Orion Anthracite; Destro watches: Ω "Great White" GMT, MKII Blackwater, Sinn EZM1 LE, IWC 3536-001, MKII Kingston, Precista Speedbird I, Casio MR-G120, Casio GW-5000, Sinn EZM2; Former Watches: Corvus Bradley

  8. #7
    Member Nokie's Avatar
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    Jul 2011
    Northern California

    Re: The use of plastic 3D printers in the watch world?

    A buddy of mine who has spent a bunch of time in printing encouraged me to get stock in a 3-D printing company a couple of years ago, and it is already paying great dividends.

    It is super awesome for car parts fabrication (my other less expensive hobby........), and can really be a good addition to this hobby as well.
    "Either he's dead or my watch has stopped"
    Groucho Marx

    "The only reason for time is so that everything does not happen at once..."
    Albert Einstein

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