3DPrinted Tourbillon Watch – Christoph Laimer (CH)

The Laimer Tourbillon is an innovative design with the heart beating highly visible in the core. The key function to indicate the time is direct and straight. Balance, Escape Wheel, Tourbillon Cage, Hands, and Barrel are all arranged co-axial. Gears for the transmission from the Barrel, and the reduction from Seconds to Minutes and Hours are placed behind the Tourbillon in order to keep the design circular.

All parts are 3d-printed except a few screws and pins. The concept also includes a 3d-printed Mainspring even though it is irrational to use plastic (plastic is not elastic – it slowly flows and deforms). In order to make it 3d-printable, a lot of engineering effort was invested. The complete movement was essentially re-invented.

The resulting timepiece works surprisingly well – of course, with it’s runtime and accuracy, it can’t compete with a conventional watch. The entire 3d-model is published and downloadable on Thingiverse. A Tourbillon is a demonstration of the watchmakers skills, and only very expensive luxury watches have it. With the published, 3d-printable Laimer Tourbillon, this luxury becomes available virtually for everybody – however not yet really wearable, and only in plastic.

Born in Switzerland, Master-degree in Electrical Engineering at the ETH in Zurich. When 3d-printing became commonly available, a door for a new type of creativity was opened. He had to open that door, immediately his focus was attracted by mechanical watches. He believes, future watches and other mechanical or electronic objects will be highly customizable – not just their design, but also their function.

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