Really sorry for the pun, but here’s an update on a Tinkercad project I started late last year. I found a lot of contemporary mechanical watches on the market were too big for me. I liked the design, but they were just too big and obnoxious. I prefer a simple, clean design and decided I would try to make one in the most rudimentary (albeit, relatively high-tech) way possible, via 3D-printing. That seems like an oxymoron in retrospect, but I used free software and the bulk of my costs were the watch components.
I wanted to 3D print a watch of my own design using free software and inexpensive prototyping. The process was pretty straight forward; a few design iterations and 3D prints later, I had multiple versions of my very own resin-printed watch. The result is pretty unastounding and simple (like, Muji simple). But, the process of finishing and being able to wear the watch has been revealing and really empowering.
I basically built the watch model around the components; I knew the dimensions I wanted – the face, the crystal and the strap width. After a trip to Otto Frei in Oakland, I had everything I needed – the movement, crystal, face and hands. The guys at Otto Frei were so patient and helpful with me as I asked every question possible. It can be a little confusing. However, watch guys don’t mess around with their jargon – do your research and know the difference between the face the crystal and the case before you go parts shopping.
I’d like to order a couple versions in different metals, as well. I think there is some shrinkage associated with SLA prints, so that will take some testing, too. Shapeways is the only service that will print this size model in steel, so we’ll see how that comes out.