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watchmakers slow to adopt 3-d printing

by:Tuowei     2019-09-07
LONDON —Although 3-
D printers are probably the coolest kids in the neighborhood and most watch brands don\'t want to have anything to do with them.
According to Ian Todd, Professor of Metallurgy and Material Processing at the University of Sheffield, UK, these machines are not accurate enough, at least not enough to print out the movement of mechanical watches.
However, other watch parts can and should be printed out.
\"You can really do something amazing around your sport, especially in this case,\" Mr.
Todd said in a telephone interview this month.
Some industrial designers are exploring these possibilities.
\"I don\'t understand why the watch industry didn\'t hire 3-
Timur Pinar said he designed a stainless steel case last year using SolidWorks, a software tool developed by France\'s Dassault company. .
\"The engineer uses it to design the plane, so it is safe to say that there is not much problem with the watch case,\" he said . \". Drawing the 3-
The D model took a month, after which he sent the design to the pioneer of additive manufacturing in Belgium --
Technical name of 3-D printing —
Make a prototype. Mr.
Pinar says he designed a skeleton Shell to take advantage of the properties of laser sintering
Printing technology using computers
By merging successive powder metal layers into the desired shape, the laser beam is controlled to construct complex shapes.
\"This is one of the best ways to make these parts,\" he said . \".
\"It helps us to produce tangible models quickly. ” Still, Mr.
Pinard put an old ETA Swiss mechanical movement in the box.
For the accuracy of the clock, \"a certain level of craftsmanship is expected,\" he said . \". “3-
It was not printed yet.
\"This is especially true at the top of the market. Todd said.
\"You always need to grow old by yourself --
If you want to be considered a high-end mechanical movement
High-end brands, \"he said.
Of the first brands to produce watches, 3-
D. commercial-scale printing case is rwindsgn established in 2011 by designer Zach Raven of Grand Rapids, Michigan.
\"This is my wife\'s idea . \"
Raven said he added that he did not know if the project would be successful when he started.
Sir, after the first slightly rough prototype, made of stainless steel injected into bronze
Raven continues to use titanium with a more precise variant of the process.
The sintering process leaves an imprint on the surface of the shell, giving it a unique, firm modern look.
\"We chose to leave something subtle because it enhanced the story of how the watch was made . \"
Raven said in a telephone interview.
This process is also suitable for more precious metals including gold.
On November, the British brand Hoptroff will be classic-
Watch with unusual electronic complications, becoming the first to create 3-
D. The printed gold box displayed at the SalonQP London watch show last year.
Co-Richard Hoptroff said that laser sintering \"can achieve things that you can\'t achieve at all\"
The founder of the brand, available in three watch models, 18-
Karat gold costs $5,000 pounds, or about $8,300. A high-
The complex pocket watch of Hoptroff No.
10. it is planned to be introduced this year.
Inspired by Patek Philippe\'s Calibre 89 and Harrison\'s Sea Watch1, the No.
10 considered navigation aids, including celestial function, temperature, pressure, humidity and compass heading, will have no less than 48 indicators.
The special appearance produced by the laser fusion process, no difference from the texture of the old sandpaper, is \"no laser sintering, no one else can copy\", SirHoptroff said.
He suggested that this may be one of the reasons why large established brands have not yet adopted the technology.
\"Big companies have invested in certain looks and certain machinery,\" he said . \".
\"There may be few reasons why they rush to try new things because they have an accepted brand and look.
\"But for smaller brands that limit mass production, 3-
D technology has brought great benefits, he said.
\"Because we only produce a few watches at a time . \"
Hoptroff explained, \"we can easily customize the watch in a series, or adjust according to the changes between each print.
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