A complicated clock mechanism can now be printed on a 3D printer

The Thingiverse portal scanned and laid out every detail of the tourbillon, one of the most complicated clock movements in the world, so that everyone could try to collect their own mechanical clock.

The mechanical clock gradually disappears from the turnover, giving way to more advanced digital analogues. However, being a physical mechanism, they have one big advantage over digital clocks – direct interaction of fragments, due to which high accuracy is achieved. A striking example of this is the tourbillon, one of the most complicated watch movements ever created by man, all the details of which can now be printed using a 3D printer.

Tourbillon (translated from French – “whirlwind”) was invented more than 200 years ago. The high accuracy of watch movements has always been one of the main goals of watchmakers, but if with stationary chronometers by the 18th century everything was relatively simple (their error amounted to tenths of a second per day), we had to experiment to create equally accurate pocket watches. Unlike stationary, pocket watches can be in the most different positions, as a result of which even a slight error in the balance will lead to a displacement of the mass of the mechanism from the geometric center. This will affect the amplitude and, as a consequence, the accuracy of the clock.

Abraham Louis Breguet noted that if one mistake is compensated by another, then the accuracy of the course will be restored in a natural way. For example, if you first hold them in a slope in one direction, and then change the position to the diametrically opposite, then the clock will regulate itself. Of course, a person will not do it manually, however this part of the work can be entrusted to the mechanism. So there was a tourbillon – a design in which the balance regulator was installed on a platform rotating at a speed of 1 turn per minute. This platform was called “carriage” and is still used in the watch industry. It is this part of the mechanism due to its complexity and beauty, as a rule, and can often be seen in the open state.

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Nowadays the portal Thingiverse scanned all the components of this mechanism and laid out the experience in free access, so that everyone can now independently print and collect a complex clockwork at home.


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