The technology behind the mechanical watch hasn’t changed too drastically over the centuries, but this version has an unmistakably modern twist. To build his new watch, Swiss engineer Christoph Laimer put his design into a 3D printer.
Other than the metal pins holding it all together, every component of Laimer’s mechanical watch, down to its flexible spring, is made from 3D-printed plastic. The watch is only capable of running for 30 minutes at a time, and when it is working it isn’t terribly accurate. Even if these factors weren’t an issue, the “watch” would still be too large and bulky to fit onto your wrist or in your pocket. That being said, the project is still a remarkable first step for watchmakers hoping to make their craftsmanship accessible to a wider audience.
The most exciting part about Laimer’s creation is that anyone with a 3D printer can make their own at home. He’s made his source files available on Autodesk’s 3D printing hub, where they can be downloaded for free. Engineering enthusiasts are welcome to take a swing at improving upon his original design, or they can simply use it as learning tool to explore the intricacies of Swiss watchmaking. You can see Laimer’s final product in action in the video above.
Header Image: Christoph Laimer via YouTube