3D printed, open-source "pocket watch" with tourbillon

Swiss engineer Christoph Laimer has built an open-source hardware, 3D printed watch with a tourbillon mechanism, uploading it to Thingiverse for you to print and assemble yourself.

The pioneering work in the was done by Nicholas Manousos, whose 2014 Tourbillon 1000% was the prime inspiration for Laimer.

Manousos has written a fascinating, in-depth article about the horological advances represented by Laimer's design, and he interview Laimer about his work, which Laimer himself has documented in a series of Youtube videos.

Where did the idea to stack your movement vertically come from?

The design is driven by symmetry – I love the mental link of the sun-gear with the escapement-wheel, and the anchor floating like a planet around the sun. With the co-axial escapement-gear, the tourbillon has a much lower inertia, and the counter-weight needs only to balance the lever and the planet gear. Last but not least it's important for the 3D printing community to keep the non-printable parts as simple as possible.

Are you a watchmaker, or in the watchmaking industry?

I'm not a watchmaker. I studied electrical engineering, with 18 years professional experience in computer science, managing a small team, and developing software for the lifecscience industry. At the moment I'm taking a time-out in order to explore interesting things, for which I never had time before.

Is the material all PLA (polylactic acid, a plastic commonly used in 3D printing) except for the case (PETG)?

Yes. Except for the main spring: there I tried 2 versions (in both) PETG and PLA. Both not ideal, but I was still surprised that I could get it running for more than 5 minutes. Maybe the community will continue experimenting with other materials.

3D-printed Watch with Tourbillon
[The Goofy/Thingiverse]

Introducing The World's First Fully Functional 3D Printed Watch: The Christoph Laimer Tourbillon [Nicholas Manousos/Hodinkee]

(via Bruce Sterling)