How to make it
Updated: Nov 6, 2019
The manual is by far not finished yet. Still you will be able to make this watch. It is not rocket science or anything and if you get into trouble drop me a line: firstname.lastname@example.org
printed parts and tools:
1x watch casing and band xxxmm_watch_0123456789.stl 1x dial and inner housing dial_inner_housing.stl 1x cover for the movement cover_movement.stl 1x spacer ring for glass spacer_ring.stl 4x latches for movement cover and inner housing latch.stl 1x hour hand hour_hand.stl 1x minute hand minute_hand.stl 1x knob for setting the time knob.stl 1x back cover cover.stl
tools: 1x key for back cover tool_key_f_back_cover.stl
non printable material and tools:
Full set available here: full set for 3D printed watch
1x glass 32x1mm with bevel 1x Miyota 2025 movement 1x stem for movement 1x hourwheel for movement tools:
1x needle 1,2mm with +0 -0.02mm tolerance
1x needle 0,7mm with +0 -0.02mm tolerance
The parts in detail
Use PLA for all parts. Especially for the band and housing. PLA is harder than most common FDM materials and hardness is what you need for the small "pins" which hold together the band. All printed parts where testet with a 0.4mm nozzle. If you have a 0.25mm nozzle use it for all the small parts. Also you get more details on your logo on the dial if you choose to make one.
Watch casing and band
The casing and the band are one print. Measure your wrist circumference and use the costumizer on thingiverse to get your file. You can also choose one prepared file from thingiverse. There is some slack calculated into the length of the band but it is hard to guess the perfect length. I am afraid you might find yourself print this part twice to find your fit.
The print itself is easy as long as your printer performs with tight tolerances.
To get a very smooth top ring I usually print with 0.1 or even 0.075 layer hight between z=8mm and full hight. If you change the color here, it gives the watch a nice look too!
<<<link: z-hight mods<<<
dial and inner housing
This is the most challenging part to print.
The area in the middle where the pistons for the hands comes through is only 0.3 thick. This is due to the limit length of the pistons. Also this is where you maybe want more than one color.
Use 3x 0.1mm layer hight. Remember that the first layer is often printed with 0.2mm by default. You may change that to 0.1mm. Make sure your first layer hight is calibrated. If you add a logo or something it is best to make the logo only 0.2mm thick so there is still one layer left which connects the logo with the rest, see pics below.
From z=0.3 to full hight you can print 0.2mm layers.
cover for the movement
It's uncritical really.
spacer ring for glass
This ring goes between the glass and the dial. Print it nicely, because you see it all the time! I suggest 0.1mm layer hight. Otherwise it is easy to print.
latches for movement cover and inner housing
It's the smallest part ever but uncritical.
A word of warning: To put the printed hands onto the movement is not easy. You might want to consider to buy a pair of hands and use them. Still, if you print the hands yourself they are way cooler :)
If you have a 0.25mm nozzle at hand it is now a good time to use it :)
It also works with a standard 0.4mm nozzle though.
They are 0.4mm thick. It is a good idea to print them at 0.1mm layer hight.
Print more than one (like 10 or so) of them because they need some adjustment later and tend to brake or do not come out nicely. If you want to print them multicolor you might find the purge block to be a bit much material for those parts :P
Also make sure your first layer calibration is correct. The minute hand has to be thight (no holes between the filament lines) where the hole for the pinion is.
knob for setting the time
Again, if you have a 0.25mm nozzle use it over 0.4mm. If you feel too lazy for that (I totaly understand) just stick with 0.4mm.
Print this part with something else so the material has time to cool while printing.
It's easy to print. If you find that it does not fit you might want to use xy compensation. I never had a problem though. If you scale it down remember you need to scale down the key for the back cover as well. xy-compensation is better.
The assembling is quite easy except of one thing: attaching the hands on the pinions of the movement so please take your time when doing that. But first we start with easy things.
Additional to the tools listed in the BOM you need tweezers because there are some very small parts.
preparing the movement
The first step is to put the hour wheel onto the movement.
The hour wheel is the very small gear wheel. Use tweezers and do not squeeze to hard. Take the hour wheel at its schaft, not where the gears are. Simply put it on the small shaft of the movement.
mounting movement into dial & inner housing
movement with mounted hour wheel
dial & inner housing
cover for movement
Put the movement into the housing. Make sure not to loose the hour wheel!
Put the cover onto the movement and fasten the cover with the two latches.
preparing the hands
Again: It is not easy to get the hands to work. Now that I have some training it is no problem anymore but maybe you want to buy a pair of hands instead. No? I like that : )
fine sand paper
The tolerances of the hole where the hands go onto the pinion of the movement are just not thight enough. You need to calibrate them before you put them onto the movement.
For that there are the two needles. Be very carefull not to hurt yourself when working with the needles!
Find the side of the hour hand which was in contact with the print bed when it was printed. Pierce the 1.2mm needle through the hole from this side of the hour hand. Move the hand slightly up and down the needle shaft but just once. The hand should still hold on the needle. Bend the hour hand just slightly to the side which looked up when it was printed. Take it off the needle and sand just very little the side which looked up when it was printed. This is to make the surface of the hour hand smooth so it does not get cought by any print unperfections.
Find the side of the minute hand which looked up when it was printed.
Pierce the 0.7mm needle through the hole from this side of the hour hand. Move the hand slightly up and down the needle shaft but just once. The hand should still hold on the needle. You do not need to sand the minute hand.
mounting the hands
prepared stem with knob
super glue (liquid, not the gel kind)
strong nerves and steady hands
Put the hour hand onto the hour wheel sticking out the hole at the dial using tweezers. The hour hand must not touch the dial in the middle but has to be very close. If the hour hand touches the dial at the tip of the hand, take a paper, slide it under the hand and bend it up until it is parallel to the dials surface. It is perfect when it has a gap of 0.1-0.2mm. The pinion for the minute hand has to stick out as far as possible.
Slide in the stem from the side. When it found it's way into the movement you should not be able to pull it out again. Pull it out slightly until you hear a little click.
If you want to pull it out, here it how you do it:
Credits to Juan Carlos Ordoñez
Now comes the most critical part:
First use a paper towel and some isopropyl alcohol to clean the pinion for glueing the minute hand. Put the minute hand onto the very small pinion sticking out the hour hand. The pinion sticks out just 0.4mm so there is not much to put your minute hand onto but it is enough.
Turn the knob and make sure the minute hand stays on the pinion and both hands turn freely. You might find yourself prepairing another set of hands at this point. Sorry, there is no easy way to do this. Maybe you'll need some goes. I needed a few. It is important that the minute hand is impervious where it connects to the pinion because we'll glue that hand to the pinion and the clue must not leak there.
Ok, now that you managed that the hands are moving you'll fix the minute hand with a small (very small!!) drop of super glue. Use the eye of the 0.7mm needle to get the right amount of glue. It should just so cover the top of the pinion and connecting to the hand. If the drop is to big use some paper towel to suck it up.
Now, let the thing dry for at least 10 minutes.
The moment of truth: Turn the knob to see if the whole mechanism still works.
If yes: congrats! Everything from here is easy! You are more or less finished.
If not: damn it! I am afraid you have to get back to the beginning of this chapter.
assembling the watch
prepared stem with knob
inner housing with mounted hands and movement cover
a pair of pliers
key for back cover