3D printed horology


WORK


Tourbillon 1000%

3D printed functional horological model

The tourbillon was invented by Breguet in 1795 and patented in 1801. It was intended to counter the effects of gravity on the escapement. Today their usefulness is controversial, but the allure remains. In my opinion, a tourbillon is the ultimate expression of mechanical beauty.

3D printing turns the traditional paradigm of manufacturing around, allowing for extremely rapid prototyping. The 1000% scale is a result of the resolution capabilities of today's 3D printers, but it has an unexpected benefit. It allows people to hold the usually too delicate tourbillon in their hands, see clearly every single part at work, and therefore fully comprehend the mechanics. Tourbillon 1000% is the result of 3 years of engineering and design.

Tourbillon 1000% is not intended to be a timekeeper, but rather an educational device. Thermoplastics may experience characteristic changes when exposed to extreme temperatures.

Availability

Tourbillon 1000% is a unique horological model available in very limited numbers. All production is done in-house. I engineer, design, print, assemble and regulate everything myself. Each piece will be made specifically for each client; customization is possible. Please contact me for details and to purchase.

Symmetrical Co-axial Escapement

Symmetrical Co-axial Escapement

The symmetrical variant of George Daniels' Co-axial escapement is described in his book Watchmaking. It was likely never built into a watch, only tested in a clock.* The difference between the symmetrical and normal version is that the impulsing action occurs entirely on the smaller escape wheel. The advantage with this variant is that the shorter distance between the balance and escape wheel allows for a smaller escape pinion module, which in turn means a smaller overall movement.

Free Sprung Daniels Balance

Free Sprung Daniels Balance

George Daniels' signature balance is characterized by the use of eccentric weights. In addition, it is free sprung, or without a regulator. The balance is poised and brought to time by adjustment of the eccentric weights. In Daniels' own words: "Regulators are a convenience to makers of mass-produced watches but are not necessary in good-quality, hand-finished watches. Such watches are brought to time by adjusting the balance, and subsequent regulation of the rate is not required."

Printed With a Delta Kinematics Robot

Printed With a Delta Kinematics Robot

3D printers function very similarly to mills. A print head moves in three dimensional space while being controlled by a computer. Mills cut away material (subtractive manufacturing) and need to be stiff and strong. 3D printers extrude material (additive manufacturing) and structural rigidity of the machine is not as important. Using delta kinematics allows a 3D printer to achieve higher movement speeds and utilize a circular build platform. I built and calibrated this 3D printer myself.

200 Micron Layer Resolution

200 Micron Layer Resolution

3D printers build layer by layer to achieve a finished part. The layer height can be thought of as print resolution. The thinner the layer height, the smoother the part will look. Thinner layer heights also lead to longer print times. I print all of my parts at 200 microns as it best highlights the distinctive manufacturing method.

Made of Renewable Bioplastic

Made of Renewable Bioplastic

Polylactic acid (PLA) is a thermoplastic filament used in 3D printers. I use it for all of my parts due to its high strength and finish quality. It is cornstarch-based and is biodegradable.

Precision Ball Bearings as Jewels

Precision Ball Bearings as Jewels

The ball bearings are the only movement part not made in house. At the large scale I work with it makes most sense to use ball bearings rather than traditional jewels. I experimented with printing jewels using high-strength polymers with acceptable results but found ball bearings to perform much better.

ABOUT


I was born and raised in California's Silicon Valley. Engineering has always been a source of endless joy for me. After earning a degree in Computer Science from the University of California, Santa Cruz, I worked in San Francisco at various technology startups.

Eventually I wanted to try something different, mechanical watches always had fascinated me. They are the physical manifestation of the same engineering projects I dealt with in the technology industry. After a chance meeting with Peter Speake-Marin and positive encouragement from my wife, I decided to apply to watchmaking school. I ended up in Miami, Florida, studying at The Nicolas G. Hayek Watchmaking School under gifted watchmaking instructor Paul Francis Madden.

After watchmaking school, I moved to New York City to establish a workshop. New York City is wonderful for many reasons but especially because of its vibrant horological community. I am on the Board of Trustees for the Horological Society of New York and often present on technical horological subjects. I have experience in semiconductor manufacturing techniques, having devoted time to learning reactive ion etching of silicon and working in a nanofabrication facility cleanroom. I also worked extensively with micro-scale CNC machining. Today, my focus is applying additive manufacturing technologies to horology. My work reflects a heritage in high technology while respecting the history of horology.

RETAILERS


Chatel

Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, USA

Chronopassion

Paris, France

PRESS


Prints Regent - QP Magazine, October 2014

Entrepreneur Turns Clockwork into Artwork with Autodesk Fusion 360 - In the Fold - Autodesk News and Opinions, August 2014

The Luxury Journal Meets Nicholas Manousos - The Luxury Journal, August 2014

The Tourbillon 1000%: A 3D Printed Horological Sculpture Designed And Produced In New York City - HODINKEE, August 2014

Experience: 3D Printed Horological Model Tourbillon 1000% by Nicholas Manousos - Watch Collecting Lifestyle, July 2014

3D Printed Working Co-Axial Tourbillon 1000% By Nicholas Manousos Hands-On - A Blog to Watch, July 2014

Tourbillon 1000% by Nicholas Manousos - Worn & Wound, July 2014

3D Print Designer Nicholas Manousos Talks Watchmaking - MakerShop, July 2014

US engineer builds giant 3D-printed watch mechanism - Dezeen, July 2014

18世紀の時計技術「ツールビロン」を3Dプリントでモデル化した美しいアートを見よう - TechCrunch Japan, July 2014

A 3D Printed Watch Tourbillon by Nicholas Manousos - 3D Printer World, July 2014

Watch This Beautiful 3D-Printed Tourbillon In Action - TechCrunch, July 2014

An Oversized 3D-Printed Tourbillon Reveals the Marvels of Watchmaking - Gizmodo, July 2014

Watch tourbillon at 1,000 percent scale - CNET, July 2014

Unique functional Tourbillon model 3D printed at 1000% scale - 3Ders, July 2014

3D Printed Horology (The 1000% Tourbillon) - AMBwatches, July 2014

Blowing Up a Delicate Timepiece with 3D Printing - 3D Printing Industry, July 2014

Tourbillon 1000% (Se Sei Capace) Stampatelo in 3D! - Orologi di Classe, June 2014

CONTACT


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Photography & Videography by Vasili Gavre

* Thank you Michael Clerizo!