Tick Tock Tick Tock.. 3D printed mechanical clocks

3D printing opens up many possibilities and exposes to a world that is full of possibilities and probabilities. The latest announcement happens to be from the clock industry. Christoph Laimer has emerged victorious among the many who have attempted to make a mechanical clock completely with the help of a 3D printer machine. All the parts have been printed with the help of the 3d printer right from the gear to the pulley, wheels and also the hands of the clock have been printed in the machine. The things that haven’t been printed are a few screws, axles, a weight and a string. The most astonishing part is that even the crank that is used to wind the clock is 3D printed!

All you folks must be thinking that Christoph must’ve used an advanced Ultimaker or a MakerBot printer to print out this piece of beauty but what he actually used was a Rapman 3.2 printer which has been discontinued. This is quite an old printer which takes more than 3 hours to print out a single gear. It has a nozzle diameter of 0.4mm and the layers are of 0.125mm. The material used to print the clock was PLA.

The clock is gravity powered with an anchor escapement. It has a balance wheel and a hairspring to control the escapement. The hairspring is printed of standard PLA. The entire weight of the clock is suspended from a pulley. The clock is not very efficient. 70cm of height can run the clock for merely 2hours. But in terms of accuracy its unbeatable as it is proven to be accurate to within ¼ seconds per hour.

Chritoph is not the only person who has tried his hands on this project. The director of CASA, University College London, tried to make a clock with the help of his MakerBot replicator 2. It took him 4 days to print the entire clock.


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