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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: https://www.watchuseek.com/f17/3d-printers-old-models-bezels-691014.html

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:
SeikoMvmtHolders.jpg

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?
 

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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.


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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 
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