It’s one thing when Chinese movement makers start producing triple-axis tourbillons at pennies on the dollar of what it costs Swiss companies, but being able to print one out of plastic is mind-boggling! Thanks to engineer Adam Wrigley, you can DIY!
The open source project is called Clockwerk and consists of 99 components – only about a third of which are actually 3D printed, the rest are what you’ll need to hold it all together. It looks like a mechanism spinning around in a white bowl, but it’s actually a hanging wall clock.
The tourbillon itself was invented around 1975 by Abraham-Louis Breguet. The first triple-axis toubillon was introduced in Baselworld back in 2004 by Thomas Prescher. Inspired by Vianney Halter’s Deep Space Tourbillon, Adam spent hours studying the science behind the 3-axis “whirlwinds”, then got to work designing his very own “in-house” version.
I got the first iteration working probably in under 40 hours of model and printing effort over about a month. But then I spent at least another 40 getting it to work well (ie, no skipping teeth/exploding). Overall it was about 5 months off and on of finding spare time to work on it. After the first iteration I got really busy and progress was slow. But that’s not including all the time I spent over several years learning about watches and watchmaking though. -Adam Wrigley
Find aaddaamm’s full Thingiverse project here, including instructions and all the files you’ll need to make your own Clockwork. He even made everything available under an attribution only Creative Commons license so anyone motivated enough to print and sell 3D triple-axis movements can!