3D-printed Watch with Tourbillon

by TheGoofy, published

3D-printed Watch with Tourbillon by TheGoofy Jan 8, 2016

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This is a mechanical watch with tourbillon driven by a 3d-printed mainspring. The watch has a Swiss lever escapement. The mainspring inside the going barrel keeps the watch running for approximately 30 Minutes. Accuracy is roughly one Second deviation within one Minute (depending on print-settings).

The project demonstrates that the 3D-printing technology is developing. Compared with earlier generations of 3d-printers, the process works more reliable and more accurately. However it's still a very advanced project, because printing inaccuracies need to be trimmed manually with some watchmaker skills, or the watch won't tick.

The watch is designed with Autodesk Fusion 360, and printed with Ultimaker 2.

How it's made:

https://jig.space/view?jig=728 (Thanks to http://www.thingiverse.com/greenlig)

Assembly Time Lapse:

Autodesk Fusion 360 Design:
http://a360.co/1S4wp4W (all parts assembled)
http://a360.co/1KUNz3g (main spring relaxed)

Many thanks to Nicholas Manousos for his great article in HODINKEE explaining the importance of my project from a watchmakers perspective. His first 3d-printed Tourbillon 1000% was also a source of inspiration for my work.

Print Settings

Printer Brand:



Ultimaker 2






Normal (cura defaults)




0.4 mm Nozzle

Only the Pawl Unlock Key needs to be printed with support.

Hairspring, Anchor, Escapement Wheel, and some gears were printed with high resolution (0.06mm layer, 0.8mm shell). All other parts are printed with normal resolution (0.1mm layer, 0.8mm shell).

The infill of the anchor is 80% in order to have a better balanced center of gravity (rest has 30% infill).

For the case I used PETG (slightly bendable, shock absorbing), and the gears are printed with PLA (harder and less friction). In colors: black and yellow parts are PETG, orange and red parts are PLA.

The Mainspring is printed with PETG (PLA probably breaks after a while). I switched off "combing" in Cura. While this is a cool feature for regular shaped parts, it causes problems with large spiral shaped parts: The print-head does many useless long (2 meters!) travelling moves. Printing not only takes 30% longer, it oozes during the move, and when continuing to print, the nozzle is empty of material, and the resulting under-extrusion is disastrous.

The Hairspring needs to be printed in PLA. Other material basically work as well, but due to different stiffness, it's expected, that the watch runs too slow, or too fast. The design of the spring needs to be changed depending on the material.

Printing on heated glass-bed. Used a mix of alcohol and water to clean it. Adhesion is exceptional. For removing the parts from the build plate I poured a few drops of the same alcohol mix into the groove between plastique and glass. The effect is miraculous and the part can be removed immediately without applying any force.

Make sure x- and y-axis of your printer are adjusted really square! My Ultimaker wasn't fabricated good enough (1-2mm slant) - the result were oval Minutes and Hours wheel, and they jammed at some angles.


Watch this video, if you like to understand, how the watch is constructed.

These are all the Parts needed. 51 downloadable and printable, and some Pins and Screws.

Part List:

  • 1 Pin, Diameter 1.5 mm, Length 55.5 mm (tourbillon axis)
  • 1 Pin, Diameter 1.5 mm, Length 12 mm (anchor axis)
  • 1 Pin, Diameter 1.5 mm, Length 8.5 mm (planet gear axis)
  • 3 Pins, Diameter 2 mm, Length 57 mm (axis for pinions for minutes and hours wheel)
  • 6 Pins, Diameter 2 mm, Length 22 mm (axis for basic transmission)
  • 1 Pin, Diameter 2 mm, Length 15 mm (attachment main spring)
  • 1 Pin, Diameter 3 mm, Length 22.5 mm (axis for main spring)
  • 1 Pin, Diameter 3 mm, Length 31 mm (axis for main pinion)

  • 3 Washers, Diameter 3 mm (main spring, pinion)
  • 6 Washers, Diameter 2 mm (transmission)
  • 5 Washers, Diameter 1.5 mm (tourbillon, escapement)

  • 5 Screws, Diameter 1.8 mm, Length 6.5 mm (ratchet pawls)
  • 5 Screws, Diameter 1.5 mm, Length 5 mm (going barrel)
  • 4 Screws, Diameter 1.5 mm, Length 10 mm (base plate)
  • 4 Screws, Diameter 1.8 mm, Length 12 mm (clock face)
  • 3 Screws, Diameter 1.5 mm, Length 10 mm (tourbillon cage)

Small holes are usually not very accurately printed. Use a drill to smooth the inner surface - especially the Balance Wheel needs to rotate with very little friction, and very little play. If you don't find pins or screws with the recommended diameter, you can certainly use little larger pieces - there is some "meet" which can be drilled out.


Spring Barrel Assembly: Align the Barrel like in the picture below. It will then slide into the case like in the video (2:49). The Pawl Unlock Key is also a useful tool to keep the pawls in place during this assembly step.

Besides the Winding Key there is also a Key to unlock the Ratchet Pawls. I recommend to fully unwind/relax the Main Spring, when the watch is not used. It certainly will extend the life-time.

Have fun! :-)

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Have you ever tried making a version for yourself that uses a steel spring for the mainspring? It would be great to purchase a spring and adapt this to run for a much longer period of time.

Also, would it not be possible to measure the period of the hairspring and balance wheel and use it to calculate your hairspring's stiffness constant (the balance wheel's moment of inertia could be determined by Autodesk software). Then, using the spring constant and a period of 1 second, determine the correct moment of inertia for the balance wheel and modify the print accordingly?

hey where can i get the pins from
i REALLY want to make this and i cant find the pins

When I ran the part files in Fusion 360, it seemed like all of them were scaled to 1000% of their normal size. For instance, the CaseBasePlate appears to be 1024 mm in diameter. Is this correct?

When I designed the watch in Fusion 360 the dimensions were all scaled properly. Something must have gone wrong with your part files.

Is there a tutorial on how to create each part, not just download them pre made. Id love to go through making each part to practice with my program, and have an actual thing to print at the end. Thanks!

I didn't do such a tutorial for my watch. Maybe there are others ...

What are the sizes of the screws and pins in standard units (inches, etc.)?

This is outstanding, your videos are also extremely well-made. Congratulations! I'll definitely make one of these if I ever find the time (pun intended).

how did you calculate the period of oscillation of the balance wheel? Is it arbitrary or does it have some calculations behind it?

In theory it could be calculated, but the force of the 3d-printed hairspring, is almost not predictable from the 3d-model. So I had to print it and approach the result with several iterations

Jun 21, 2016 - Modified Jun 21, 2016

Has anyone made a smaller relaxed spring beside Jake's? Even with his spring it still doesn't fit my bed. I'm running a Printrbot Play with a y-axis extension. The X axis is limited to 100 mm, so it would require major scaling to fit the spring onto the bed.

Great work and thanks for posting.

I am inspired to do one. But need help...trying to print SpringCase stl at 50% but it shows gap after 3.4 mm height in the preview (simplify3D) and also does not print. Cura shows full model and does not indicate any gap.

I guess there is a bug in Simplify3D. Try to set the first layer height to an uneven number e.g. 101% (instead of 100%).

Could it work ok scaled down a bit? My printer wouldn't fit the big spring : /

This is incredible... are you going to do a minute repeater next?

I found this to be a great place to get the pins in a raw stock form if you don't mind cutting them to length: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/131789554079

I am trying to build the clock with my printer and I wanted to ask you if you can tell me where did you buy the pins; I have tried looking around on the Internet but their diameter seems to be too small and I am unable to find them. Any advice? Could I find those part in a watchmaker shop?

I cut up some knitting needles my wife didn't want anymore. if i was going to buy them they are cheap and have a non stick coating on them so they are nice and slippery

A hardware store, DIY, or a store with RC-toys (cars) should have it.
Or browse www.mcmaster.com

Outstanding work !!!

Hello, for those watch lovers who don't have a 3D printer but would like to mount the watch, is there anybody selling the kit printed?

Jun 22, 2016 - Modified Jun 22, 2016
MARCO___YO - in reply to theciber

You could get it printed from 3d hubs by clicking apps at the top of this page and then clicking 3d hubs

I recently printed a kit for one of my 3D Hubs customers! Turned out great and the customer was very pleased.

unable to be Sold due to thingiverse protection.

or atleast not without the authorization from the user

Has anyone done the springs in abs?

I seem to be missing a gear. In the video it is called the Minutes Transmission Main Pinion gear. Does anyone know the name of this gear in the file download list?

"SpringPinion.stl" (sorry, I was struggling giving this gear a good name)

Feb 24, 2016 - Modified Feb 24, 2016

I'm having trouble printing the hairspring. I'm using a Makerbot.

The initial portions of the spiral seem to "drag" as it's printing - and the result is a misshapen mess. I've tried slowing the extruder speed in all three dimensions. I've also tried stopping the cooling fan. All to no avail.

What is the trick to getting the delicate design of the hairspring to print?

Not using a maker bot helps :)

Also having a properly level and tram printer helps

Don't forget the 'TheGoofy' is Swiss. They start clock making in Switzerland around the age of 5. :-)

Just completed the build and it works, ( for about 5 mins maximum ). Very pleased!
It's not easy and does take quite a bit of careful drilling to get the holes right. I would suggest buying a set of micro drills off Ebay. Quite cheap about £12 for 150 drills, 0.4mm to 3.2mm.
Biggest problem at the moment is if the spring is wound too much, the anchor seems to skip a couple of beats and it stops.

Goofy - thanks for the brilliant design.

Given you're talking in £ I presume you're in the UK - Where did you get the pins / hardware required for this?

Pins were made out of brass - easy to work with.
I bought some 10BA and 12BA machine bolts from a local model train shop - very expensive for what they were. The spring case was bolted with some M2 bolts that I had around. I think that everything could have been done with M2 bolts, you need a mix of cheese and countersunk heads. Didn't cut the thread, I let the bolt do the cutting after drilling it to just under size. I do have a small drill press which is a big help in getting the holes correct and true.

Fantastic, thank you!

After commenting I had a hunt on eBay and found a selection of 1.5 and up rods. There was a choice of steel or brass, I would guess either are workable given we're only talking mm rather than cm thick.

I've printed all the parts and assembled them but the clock does not run. If I give it a little push them it goes for 5-10 seconds but it seems there is not enough pressure to push the tourbillion around.

Thanks Oscar

The friction will almost certainly be in the tourbillon, that is the most sensitive section. All the components must spin freely without excessive wobble.
Also, I first built the tourbillon without the anchor or hair spring, mounted it in the watch body and checked that it rotated freely. There was a small section of the gear in the case_centre_plate that had some friction. A little work with a file cleared it. Then I re-assembled the tourbillon with all the parts.

Hi Goofy

Thank you for the info on the smaller spring.
Printing that right now as it fits my Ultimaker original.

Solved the problem with SpringRatchetPawlsRing as I tried to mount the springbushing and the Ratchetwheel with those 'nice' hubs up side down.
Sorry for the mirrowing troubles, as i want to thank you for all the work spend on designing and drawing the parts so nicely.

Wim de Groot

Hi Goofy

I have printed all the parts but all 40% bigger using my 5 year old Ultimaker 'original" and Cura.
(For the spring I need a larger printer)
Busy now to bring the parts together.

On assembling the SpringRatchetPawlsRing in its housing with the 5 pawls present and next the Ratchetwheel I concluded that the SpringRatchetPawlsRing could better be printed in a mirrored version. (Mirrowed over the A-axis in Cura).
It gives a better fit in the housing and holding the pawls in their place?

I have not read all the 195 comments , but have anyone concluded the same?

Wim de Groot

Maybe Jakes redesign fits into your printer? http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1271804

I'm confused about the mirroring. The pawls need to be free moving, slightly pushed by the small springs (built in ring) against the ratchet wheel. How does this work after mirroring?

3D Printed Watch Mainspring for Smaller Print Beds (UNTESTED)
by Jake
This comment has been deleted.
TheGoofy - in reply to


Feb 5, 2016 - Modified Feb 5, 2016

So impressive! I've been slowly learning to use Autodesk 360, so I was wondering what you used to create the ring gears and the various wheels/pinions? Is there a useful add-on, or are you importing models, or something else entirely? Thanks for posting your files, they are great to learn from.

There is a script in menu "File / Scrips and Ad-Ins / SpurGear"

Ahh, thanks!

I finally have a ticking watch, although I had to use a metal spring to get enough torque because the plastic spring would only get me a very limited amount of time, as in seconds before it would stop, then it would lose enough tension over night it didnt have enough energy to make it work. Im sure there is more areas I could caress and get rid of friction, I still havent tried any lubrication at all either. but for the amount of time I have in this thing Im glad that it works even for a few minutes!! I still get a few skips out of the tourbillion that I need to work out of it. Good luck guys! Thanks Goofy for the files.

Jake - in reply to scottyk

Care to provide details on your metal spring? My spring is ABS and I had to print a custom version with a larger cross section to keep it rigid enough to use, but maybe I should just go metal!

scottyk - in reply to Jake

It was a random one I ordered on Amazon and printed a hub for it. I had to trim about 18" off of it to fit then heat up the end with a torch in order to bend a U shape back in it. The spring I chose is quite a bit too strong for the watch I think I am going to experiment with a smaller spring such as a RC car pull start or maybe a weed eater engine or something along those lines. I plan to make a remix once I get a real good solution figure out. Have to be careful not to put too many winds on it or it will really get that balance wheel going and stretch out the other small spring along with skipping in the escapement. The spring I ordered is http://www.amazon.com/Kimpex-Recoil-Spring-11-208-03/dp/B0022ZEPOI/ref=pd_sim_sbs_263_2?ie=UTF8&dpID=51FMugvrjUL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR160%2C160_&refRID=0HH7NCCBVZE6ZVW7Q44X

Chalk up another make! All-ABS. You can find my tips for constructing this on the make page: http://www.thingiverse.com/make:192048

I'm still working on the mainspring, which I think is not as good in ABS. It ticks really great if you help it along on the gear train a little. I'm trying progressively thicker cross sections till I find one that works well. Basically, they don't "pull" firmly enough.

Also it runs slow, but I'm not sure if that's related to the mainspring or something else.

This was one of the most fun things i've made on my printer. Thanks @TheGoofy!

3D-printed Watch with Tourbillon
by Jake

Amazing movement Christoph, Breguet would be proud!

Will you share your design on Fusion 360 please? (I looked, but couldn't find it in the gallery. )

Awesome job TheGoofy!
I've got a working tourbillon and much of the rest printed.

I had to have a 2nd go at the escapement sun gear because I was getting a lot of skips.
I had cleaned up the part on the first one without properly understanding how it worked.. ended up filing ramps on the wrong edge which caused it to push off the stop and start skipping.
I printed it by itself the 2nd time and did not need to clean up the ends of the escapement at all.. it worked right away.

For those having skips.. look at the videos of how a French escapement is supposed to work.. then watch your mechanism and you'll figure out what's causing your skips.

I cut up some welding rod to get my pins.

My only issue is where to buy the screws in The Netherlands.

Check out some model shops for the screws. I eventually used bolts. If you drill out a 1.8mm hole for a 2mm bolt, the thread will form itself without a tap.

Which is the right edge to file? I've been through several iterations of the anchor and escapement sun gear without being able to get a combination which both runs and does not skip.

Feb 7, 2016 - Modified Feb 7, 2016
araspitfire - in reply to animoose

Filing the leading edge of the escapement sun gear was a mistake for me... if you watch the thing move, you should see the anchor hit the stops, and not move off the stops until the balance wheel comes back around.. The skips are caused by the anchor moving away from the stop, and then being propelled off by the ramp, while the balance wheel is at either end, and not able to stop the the anchor from making an unscheduled movement.

I think filing any angle onto the points of the escapement sun gear is a mistake... cleaning them up but keeping them parallel is the key.

To be honest I am still getting skips, but they are fairly regular on the escapement sun gear and I think I can alter it at those spots.. The main problem right now is I don't transfer enough torque forward from my spring to keep it ticking by itself... I need to get smoother bearing pins.. maybe try a different PLA for the main spring.

Thank you! I will try printing another one, and filing only to get rid of elephant's feet. I'm learning a lot from this project.

For the main spring, I printed one in PLA. I used justpla which is quite hard compared to some other brands of PLA. I wasn't able to coil it up tightly enough to get it to fit - it had so much springiness that I simply couldn't hold it coiled. I printed another one using PETG, and that worked much better.

Fantastic piece of design! I made one, and after assembly I'm even more impressed with the clever design.
Does not work completely smooth, but anyway really impressive demonstration of 3D printing possibilities (and of your design skills!).

HOLY POTATO-CHIPS BATMAN, that's insanely amazing!!!

Does anyone have an online source for the hardware for the Tourbillon? The long, I.E. 57mm length pins are driving me batty tryin to find.
Did I really say batty? Hmmm. Anyway, a point in the right direction would be cool.

Feb 7, 2016 - Modified Feb 8, 2016
animoose - in reply to terryparadise

I bought 1.5, 2 and 3mm rods from McMaster Carr then cut them down. If you look through the comments on TheGoofy's previous clock design, there are links to suitable parts there.

thanks animoose. great info

I've printed all the parts and have assembled the Tourbillon. All the rotating parts have been carefully honed to fit the shafts and spin very freely without being sloppy. My problem is that when testing the Tourbillon by itself as you do in the video, I apply turning pressure to the planet gear and the tourbillon will tick away for maybe 10 to 15 seconds. Then, randomly, the anchor and sun gear will 'skip' and perform a few, very quick, tick oscillations independent of the engagement of the balance wheel pin. This throws off the timing of the balance wheel pin to the anchor, and locks up the mechanism. Have you seen this before and can you give me some ideas on what to look for, or adjust? THANK YOU!

Jan 21, 2016 - Modified Jan 21, 2016

I have an all-ABS tourbillion ticking-- sort of. If I apply a gentile force to the planet gear, it ticks pretty nicely. Anything more than "gentile" and the anchor will skip and dislodge from the balance wheel pin. Is this normal behavior?

I've ordered a set of metric drills, as I think a #53 (~1.5113mm) drill bit leaves a little too much play in the anchor and planet gear. (It seems to be okay for the balance wheel, but I might try an exact 1.5mm drill when they arrive)

I may try reprinting the escapement gear very slowly, as I see a little ringing on the teeth, which I'm sure isn't good.

Do you have any tips for tuning the tourbillion?

The tourbillon doesn't like too much play, and accuracy is important. It's difficult to guess a reason for the dislodge. It happens also with my watch, if I very quickly release the driving force at the wrong moment. But with the smooth/continuos force of the mainspring it never happens.

TheGoofy. First, thanks so much for sharing. It is truly an amazing model and quite a talented skill set you have. It's really amazing to use Fusion360 to see the parts come together. I've been learning Fusion for ~6 months and really love it too.

I have a Lulzbot Taz 5 with a .35 nozzle (I also have a .4 nozzle but haven't tried it yet.) i'm trying to perfect my fine detail prints which this one requires a lot of ;-). In particular i'm trying to get the same level of detail that you did on the CaseTourbillonBearingFront piece with your name. As you can see in the image links below, i've had varying success. The best one is printed in ABS while the others are in PLA. I've tried a variety of speeds and temperatures within the filament varieties. Could you confirm that you printed your pieces with your .4 nozzle and .1 layer height (at least for this particular piece? I have a feeling that if I can nail this piece, the others will stand a much better chance. I'm still going to try other variations including trying the .4 nozzle but traditional thinking would make me think i would get less detail from a bigger nozzle.

http://imgur.com/mc7Zj6w (Best - ABS)

Thanks again for your contribution to the community.

Looks like a "large" elephant foot. Maybe you try to increase the gap between nozzle and bed? And/or reduce the temperature (bed or nozzle). But then you will probably have issues with the adhesion.

You're not printing directly on glass, right? You should give it a try with PLA. No glue, no hairspray, no tape, nothing! If the glass is 100% free from grease, the adhesion is crazy - you could have problems to remove PLA from the glass, even if the bed is fully cooled down, if you don't know the trick. In order to remove it, gently spray a mix of alcohol and water on the piece and the glass, wait a few seconds, and then you can slide it sidewards and lift it off with almost no force. The first time to get the glass REALLY clean is tough - use a CLEAN microfiber towel, work with CLEAN hands, use 100% alcohol ...

Hello, my father and I have printed all of the pieces to the clock, but when assembling the tourbillon, the gears have difficulty turning and get stuck, and the tourbillon anchor often disconnects from the groove in the piece that holds the balance wheel and hairspring together. I have spent lots of time looking at the assembly, and can't seem to find any problems other than those. Do you have any suggestions to how I could fix this?

TheGoofy: I am truly inspired by this. THIS is why I got into 3D printing. I currently own a printer that is woefully un-capable of handling such precision but I am looking at an upgrade. Your designs are amazing. Thank you!

I have a Makerbot 5 and have had no luck printing the mainspring. Basically, it starts coming apart about half way through the print and by the end looks like a bowl of spaghetti. Actually, it never makes it to the end. The spaghetti grabs the nozzle and pulls the extruder off. Any suggestions?


For some reason every time I print the mainspring it acts funny, Im using a flashforge dreamer, but it will only print about half the time the extruder is travelling. I know Goofy refers to this somewhere as "combing" I believe but I do not have a option to turn that on or off in flashprint. Although I end up with a succesful print it just takes about twice as long as it should. I had 3 print failures in a row do to my own mistake, using abs filament with PLA settings and it absolutely would not stick to the bed at all.

Like several others, I'm finding it hard to locate the screws. Would M1.6 or M1.7 do in place of 1.5mm, and M2 in place of 1.8mm?
For the pins, I am using the same McMaster-Carr links that someone posted on your clock design.

To close the loop on this, I ended up buying these from metricscrews.us:
M1.6-.35 x 5mm Black Zinc Flat Head Screw #20741 (20741)
M2x7 Nickel Micro Type A Self Tapping Flat Head Screw #20674 (20674)
M2x12 Nickel Micro Type A Self Tapping Flat Head Screw #20677 (20677)
M1.7x10 Nickel Micro Type A Self Tapping Pan Head Screw #20639 (20639)
M1.7x5 Black Zinc Type A Self Tapping Flat Head Screw #20828 (20828)

So far I have only used the M1.7x10 (instead of 1.5x10) and M2x7 (instead of 1.8x6.5), and have been able to make both of them work fine.

Jan 20, 2016 - Modified Jan 24, 2016
Jake - in reply to animoose

I'm using #0 and #1 screws from McMaster:

1.8mm x 6.5mm ---- use a #1 x 1/4" (~1.8542mm x ~6.35mm)
1.5mm x 5mm ---- use a #0 x 3/16" (~1.524mm x ~4.7625mm)
1.5mm x 10mm ----- use a #0 x 3/8" (~1.524mm x ~9.25mm)
1.8mm x 12mm ----- use a #1 x 1/2" (~1.524mm x ~12.7mm)

It seems like these should work, but I haven't built the whole assembly yet to find out for sure!

Jake - in reply to Jake

@TheGoofy, Are the face screws really 1.8mm, or did you use a larger screw? The holes in the Base Plate seem to be 2mm, which is a little bigger than the 1.5mm holes you use in the Ratchet Ring. My #1 screws work great in the ratchet ring, but slip right into the BasePlate holes. I'm wondering if the face was intended to use a larger screw?

Seems that your printer is more accurate as my UM2. However, I've observed variations depending on the used material: the "2-mm-holes" printed with PETG are not as much too small compared with PLA. I also observed differences depending on the age of the material: old PLA is different than new PLA. Maybe I should change the description: Buy a set of screws with diameters ranging from 1.5 mm to 2.1 mm, and try which fits best ...

I used #2 screws for the face and it worked perfectly! See the make here: http://www.thingiverse.com/make:192048

3D-printed Watch with Tourbillon
by Jake
wimvd - in reply to Jake

Hi Jake,

I tried McMaster, but they won't ship outside the US, they confirmed this to me by email :-(

Has Anyone found a better supplier?

Thanks for the info. I'll try these.

Jan 19, 2016 - Modified Jan 19, 2016
TheGoofy - in reply to animoose

Screw with approx. 10mm length and 1.5mm diameter: http://www.mcmaster.com/#90065a024/=10qw2mi


Maybe M1.6 works if you drill a 1.5mm hole. You have to experiment.

please make the pins printable :D

my printer only asks for # of shells how many shells should i use for your 0.8mm suggestion ?

This depends on your nozzle size, which is probably .4mm, so you'd want 2.

i am still printing parts :D , perfect experience for 3d printer beginners , thank you for sharing

Might want to finish the watch and make it function before you consider it a beginner project. I have yet to see a 3d printed anything that is this complicated and precise, far from beginner in my opinion.

Pretty cool! ill be printing one soon! Id love to print a cuckoo clock!

Best thing ever !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

FYI, my brother-in-law was a clock curator for the Smithsonium Institute in D.C., Robert Edward, and he had dozens of clocks in their home. My sister got tired of winding them everyday. He is now passed on.

So my Watch is done. Wound up the spring and nothing happens, no gears moving. Probably because I have the gears install incorrectly. A picture that identifies the gears and location is what I need.

Jan 16, 2016 - Modified Jan 16, 2016
TheGoofy - in reply to hlyman

Now debugging starts ... ;-) ...

Open the model-browser for locating the gears: http://a360.co/1S4wp4W

The postfix in the gear name indicates the position in the gear train. "A" is the fastest turning, "B" a bit slower, etc.

I also recommend to test the gears with the Tourbillon removed.

Thanks, I will work on it tomorrow.

I have a working tick toc piece! "tourbillion" Now hopefully I can find the time to finish up the rest of it. I have to remodel the main spring to fit on the print bed 6" max travel on the Y axis, I scaled it down the first time and now I realize how important every piece is I decided I will want a full spring X-section with proper fitment instead of using my scaled down version. This is a great project! I cant wait to start on the other clock now, Im also learning alot about how these things work, I have never paid attention to the mechanics of a clock before. fascinating!

For everyones info I have used pins oversized in comparison to what Goofy calls out for, and drill out the holes on the 3d printed parts on my mini mill with .001 undersize or exact size for press fit then use .003-.005 oversize drill for a "slip fit no shake" clearance holes in the gears and such. Brass rod .072 .081 and .114 is what I have just because the hardware store had them in stock. and a mixture of number drill bits and metric to obtain the right size holes. I would be very surprised if the holes would be accurate enough to actually work straight off the printer no matter what pins you have.

So it works with a scaled down spring? Lots of us are having problems with the bed size, could you upload your scaled model?

I used my version of the spring and it fits great, I did have the scaled down spring installed but did not use it so I cant comment on that, but it does fit after drilling out the holes, and you would also need to scale the winding key to fit. I am struggling to make the watch work under its own power. It is completed and does work for about 5 seconds at a time in certain positions, I think I need to revisit my anchor and wheel inside the tourbillion because it skips sometimes. I have to hand finish the anchor in spots and it is very sensitive. I think I am on my 4th anchor currently. Progress halted because I pulled out the tourbillion with a fully wound spring and released all the energy at once causing the spring to break "I think" and im out of filament now.

The Goofy,
I am almost done assembling the watch, except for the Gears that meshes with the SpringGoingBarrelCoverGearT40. Can you please advise me which gears these are? The video of your assembling these gears is somewhat vague to me. Thanks.

I found it, "SpringPinion"

Congrats! 100 points for you.

Excellent, have my congratulations Christoph.

Question: I'm working on this now and wondering if a spring from auto retract dog walking leash will work for main spring or maybe a spring form a measuring tape? What are your thoughts?

I am having trouble finding screws in the US that match your specs. You said you can go slightly larger diameter in screws. What about length? How tolerant is the design for a slightly longer or shorter screw? For example, can a half inch (12mm) screw be used in place of the 10mm screws?

You could use screws almost twice as long. Except for the ratchet pawls. If they are too long, they will collide with the Barrel. You can easily shorten screws with a file (that's what I did).

This is awesome! I would very much like to make one myself once I get my printer back up and running. Where did you source the pins from?

Found a nice assortment of music wire that has 1.5mm and 2mm sizes: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001J6AHCA
3mm sizes are easy to source. Stainless 3mm rods are used in model helicopters, etc.

I wound up buying brass rods from eBay in the exact size. I plan to use that once they are delivered.

In the UK piano wire seems to which comes at 1.57mm 2.69mm and 3.30mm, not nearly accurate enough. and have hunted high and low but cant find steel rod that small. Carbon fibre is easy enough to source and seems to have very good tolerances so I'm going with that.

That modular box you used for the pins and screws is quite interesting too, can you share?

I have Printrbot Simple Metal and print bed size is 15x15cm, and i found that only one object don't fit for my printer is SpringRelaxed.stl
It will fit if i scale main spring in 0.88, but sure it will not work with other details if i will use scaled spring. Could you create SpringRelaxed object model just little bit smaller 14x14cm for example? With smaller spring watches will work shorter time, but at least i'm and other Printrbot owners will be happy :)

My Rep2X has a 150mm Y-axis, which made the mainspring just a little to large to print. If you check the "Remixes", you'll find a version designed to fit on a smaller build plate. It is untested, but seems to work somewhat. I won't know how well it works until I finish the build.

I second this!

This comment has been deleted.

Amazing Work!!! But the A360 link is a blank page(with a navigation bar)...

This is truly elegant.

Marvellous! Really. After looking at it and watching the videos, I've started to make one.

Do you have a list of the parts with the colours on it? And if do would you share it with us?

That would make the printing of all parts really much easier. Because that's the obvious place to start.

Funny you mention the correct squarness of the x- and y-axis. I had this problem too with another project. Have modified the firmware to adjust for this. Caused me some headaches....

I have all my parts printed out, using slightly larger size brass rod for pins. First thing to build is the tourbillion and I will say this is not for the faint for heart. I spent alot of time just fitting pins and cleaning up my parts, drilling and filing small burrs. Still cant achieve a consistent tick. I think it might be from not using the exact correct drill bit for clearance, I have .004 oversize drill bit in comparison to the rod. You need a very high quality of print for this to work. The files are very nice and my printer works well but must not be good enough, I still spent hours fitting parts for just the tourbillion and Im not quite there yet. I will make this work even if I have to order pins and drills!

My balance wheel oscillates approximately 3-5 seconds, when started with a 90° angle. If yours oscillates only for 2 seconds, you probably need to work with pins and drills. I peeled off the bottom layer from all the escapement gear teeth in order to remove the elephant foot. Finally check the anchor pallets. These are quite small and material quality, nozzle age, print settings have a big influence on their accurate shape.

Could you elaborate on that "peeling the layer off bottom of gear teeth?" Was this done only to the teeth itself, or the entire gear? When you say bottom layer are referring to a actual layer of the part or a raft of some sort?

Thanks a bunch.

Only the escapement teeth. It's important that ALL the teeth have exactly the same length and shape at the tip. Or the ticking will be irregular. An "elephant foot" is usually not very regular. I started cutting with the knife, but suddenly the bottom layer just came off (maybe a printer malfunction?)

I was doing some more experimenting last night with first layer heights, and when printing with .08 layer height and .1 first layer height it helps tremendously with the elephant foot problem. I have also started printing parts 1 piece at a time to eliminate nubs from the extruder jumping from part to part. Hopefully get tourbillion try #2 tonight, see if I make this thing tick finally!

Jan 13, 2016 - Modified Jan 13, 2016
scottyk - in reply to TheGoofy

ohhhh! Now that makes more sense because the dim stackup didnt seem to match with the thickness of the parts and filing down all those gear teeth was really getting old, hahaaa. I spent alot of time on the anchor with a small flat file making neat surfaces and I may have worked it too much, I got it to tick for 10 or so times then it would skip a couple teeth. but using my hand to rotate is probably not a accurate way to test since torque is so in-consistent. and it was not reliable to self start, alot of the time I had to give the anchor a little push. I have everything moving friction free but the fit could be tighter. I will get some proper size drills tonight and try to print one part at a time slowly in hopes the anchor will come out higher quality this time. So this begs the question, how do you remove the bottom layer?

Great work! May I ask why you changed your modelling software from your previous project from Blender to Autodesk Fusion 360?

I wanted to learn something new :-) ... Blender is great if you don't do several design iterations. If your design is a complex shaped object, and at the end you realize, that earlier a hole for a screw was positioned wrongly, you're lost with a chaotic mesh. Boolean modifiers don't really help if there are more than 3 primitives combined. In Fusion 360 iterative design is much easier: you just click the hole, delete it and make a new hole. Or alternatively you can even scroll back in history, and re-position it. I was also surprised about the rendering quality - it looks very nice just out of the box, while in Blender you have to heavily tune light sources and materials. AND Fusion 360 is free for hobbyists for 3 years, and affordable for more professionals.

Thanks for your profound answer! Your point about changing a whole in Blender was exactly the experience I also made. I just thought my lack of experience was the problem. I will give Fusion 360 a try, then.

Jan 13, 2016 - Modified Jan 13, 2016

Take a look to my project ;)


Co-axial Carrousel 3D printed.


Very interesting build. Are you planning on sharing the files for it?

no I don't 'couse is still under project :)
maybe you will find out the kit ready to assemble.
as you read here there are lot of makers heaving trouble to create one (gufy has done a really greatest works for me [I'm a watchmaker :) ])
you need a good printer, a good filament and experience to manage it, otherwise you'll get only a knick knack!!


Jan 13, 2016 - Modified Jan 13, 2016

WOW! Amazing!
Can you please advise if i download will it be Ultimaker 2 ready with 0.4 nozzle? or do I need to make any measurement adjustments?
What settings did you use?

You have the same printer as I. Just make sure, that the xy-Axis of your printer are well adjusted square (if the big gears are not exactly circular, the will jam). You can easily test this by printing twice a Square object (100mm x 100mm x 1mm). The corners of the two squares must exactly match if you rotate or flip. Under "thing details" you can find the print settings.

I have a small printer (M3D) which can only print 11x11x11cm. Can this print at, say, 55%? Or does it only work at 100%?

Your printer has a 0.35 mm nozzle, right? My printer has 0.4 mm, and the design has a little margin to potentially work as well with 0.5 mm nozzle (not tested). Hence I guess that 70% is the limit with this design on your printer. I think the main-spring is the only problem with this scale. Anyway, 70% maybe works, with 55% I'm pretty sure that it fails.

Oh I just noticed that the pins probably won't fit. Dang it...

As a watch enthusiast, I can't wait to try making one of these on our Lulzbot Taz 5. However, where in the world can I purchase the pins? I have no clue. I'm pretty sure that I can't pick them up at The Home Depot. Does anyone know of an online store that would sell those kinds of parts?

You can probably find something suitable at http://www.mcmaster.com they have pretty much everything. While they do have metric stuff... converting the mm to inch will probably result in more options. Try searching "Miniature Drive Shafts" or even "Tool Steel" then use the "Narrow By" fields on the left of the screen to find exactly what you need. You will more than likely have to buy something and then cut it to size though.

Incredible work!!!

This absolutely insane and beautiful. You sir, get a new follower.

I congratulate you this fine piece of work. I am making one now, printing it on my LymanBot DIY 3D printer. I have scaled it to 1.5 as I can print the parts larger, as my old hands need large parts to handle. I have finished the spring assembly so far. In scaling it I found that I could not insert the spring assembly into the spring case, so I cut the case in half and glue it together to assemble it, however it now restricts me from disassembling it.
The thing I wish you had is a manual of the exploded parts identifying each part with a number. This way I could see where every part goes such as each gear placement. Please look at my manual on Thingsiverse, "LymanBot 3D Printer V3" or "Lyman Filament Extruder V6" and you can see in my manuals how I identified each part with a number.
If I had the drawing files that would open in AutoCAD I would be happy to make this manual for you that would be published in a PDF file.
If this may be of interest to you just reply.

The Main Spring Barrel slides almost on its own into the Case, if aligned properly. I've extended the instructions with a picture (sorry, I should have mentioned that trick earlier).

Hello Christoph, I was looking at all of the files to print for this project and the "spring relaxed" is too big for my printing bed. Is it possible that you could make a little "less" relaxed spring so that it would fit in the size of 9.1” x 5.9”? (I have a Flashforge Dreamer). Thank you very much.

You are a wizard and this is the absolute most stunning 3D printed thing I have ever seen. I've been 3D printing 12+ hours a day for the last 4 years and this single project eclipses all of my accomplishments. YOU ARE A WIZARD and you make the entire maker/3D printer community PROUD. :)

Fantastic design!
I was wondering if i can print the Spring in a material that does not get tired after several uses. Maybe Nylon 618 from taulman or just normal ABS?

Peuxy - in reply to Kwejk

I'm not a material expert but all i know is that ABS is softer than PLA so i wouldn't recommend it. As far as i know Nylon is the cheapest and the strongest material.
Here you have a link with a comparison: https://www.matterhackers.com/3d-printer-filament-compare

could i scale the z acssiss (can't spell) smaller to make the watch thinner?

It's worth a try. I don't expect big troubles with the gears or the escapement. I'm guessing the first things to fail are some bearings in the tourbillon, the face ticks, hands, ... maybe 70% scaling still works? If you scale it below 50%, I fear that there are too many non-printable pieces.

Has anyone printed this on a first gen Makerbot Replicator? I've got a CTC 3D printer, which is essentially a fake 1st gen Makerbot replicator and I want to print one.

Thanks for all the overwhelming feedback. It's a big pleasure to publish 3d-designs on Thingiverse :-)

I've added an STL-file with a key to unlock the 5 ratchet pawls. I expect that the main spring lives longer, if it the spring is fully unwound/relaxed, when the watch is not in use.

Super! Good Job! 8-)

You are my teacher (Because I learn with your projects much more new stuff). Your designs is really interesting. I can't believe you present this nice projects without want to earn any money. Respect and congratulations.
Niyazi Özel

Hi, Can you share us how accurate is the time, how many seconds remains backward or forward in one hour or in one day ? Thanks.

Brilliant work!!

I am looking forward to trying this. Does anyone have a good source for buying the pins, screws, and washers?


I found some 6" long steel music wire and small brass bars at Lowe's in the hardware section in the "hard to find" drawer. The steel ones were labeled as Assorted Music Wire, but they seem sturdy enough to act as pins and can be cut down to size. It includes diameters close to 1.5 and 2 mm. The brass ones are 3.2 mm in diameter which should work for the 3mm pins once cut to size as well.
Here is a picture of them: http://i.imgur.com/eub821K.jpg

I believe there are stl files provided to print out the washers, and as far as the screws go I have no idea.

This is one of those things that really makes you feel like you are living in the future. I can print a dang watch, son.

Can't wait to try it!

I indeed have enjoyed your presentation.

No one actually made it because it takes so long :P

Great design, great printable object. Kudos to you.

Absolutely brilliant, a very clever man. Congratulations.

The anchor and planetary pin size, they seem about double the correct length? 12 and 8,5mm are much too long on my parts.

Jan 10, 2016 - Modified Jan 10, 2016
TheGoofy - in reply to sidneylopsides

These numbers are measured from the real pins. According to the computer-model the Planet-Pin could even be 9 mm long. Maybe I don't get your question?

I've just tried to build the tourbillion, the 12mm pin for the anchor seems to be twice as long as required, I've tried the 8.5mm pin to compare and even that is too long.
The planetary pin looks like it needs to be about 4mm to fit correctly, it's only a thin gear.

There is something fishy. Can you share a picture of your print?

I've just noticed what I've done.... Now I feel silly!
I've managed to add 5mm to both pins!

Congratulation, this is a very important achievement for you and for the 3D printing community.

Absolutely amazing. I'm definitely going to have to try making one!


Where can we get the pins, screws & washers ?

I will be printing it for sure...Thanks for sharing

I found some 6" long steel music wire and small brass bars at Lowe's in the hardware section in the "hard to find" drawer. The steel ones were labeled as Assorted Music Wire, but they seem sturdy enough to act as pins and can be cut down to size. It includes diameters close to 1.5 and 2 mm. The brass ones are 3.2 mm in diameter which should work for the 3mm pins once cut to size as well.
Here is a picture of them: http://i.imgur.com/eub821K.jpg

I believe there are stl files provided to print out the washers, and as far as the screws go I have no idea. Let me know if you find out!

Amazing! I can't wait to make one! Those little bins you've got all the parts in are nice too, where'd you get that design?

Absolutely stunning.

May I suggest sourcing the hardware kit?

Awesome design and video.

Three cheers for a real design with all of the parts appropriately designed for fused deposition printing.

Look at this guy...

...You know this is going to inspire other watch designs, right? ;)

Never ceases to amaze me. Great move with the video for assembly instruction!

This is absolutely amazing! Can I ask how you did the gear designs in Fusion360? Since I find that very problematic.

Jan 9, 2016 - Modified Jan 10, 2016
TheGoofy - in reply to keganholtzhausen

There is a menu-item "file / scripts and add-ins / spurgear". In order to get the right play between two gears and erode a little the contact surface, I ab-used the "shell" function combined with some extrusions.

Definitely mad ! and besides you love good musique !

Good job ! Thanks

Absolutely stunning!
A brilliant piece of design and printing.

Awesome design!!!! the best

Great! But do you have a link where the pins can be bought?

I found some 6" long steel music wire and small brass bars at Lowe's in the hardware section in the "hard to find" drawer. The steel ones were labeled as Assorted Music Wire, but they seem sturdy enough to act as pins and can be cut down to size. It includes diameters close to 1.5 and 2 mm. The brass ones are 3.2 mm in diameter which should work for the 3mm pins once cut to size as well.
Here is a picture of them: http://i.imgur.com/eub821K.jpg

good, but i cant print it, too small, my printer reprappro ormerod nozzle diameter is 0.5mm, use Slic3r to generate g-code. Then i zoom into 150% and SpringRelaxed.stl exceed 200mm x 200mm, so regret.

If it were successfully printed with 0.4 nozzle as per the description, you could try scaling at 125% (0.5 divided by 0.4) and see if that works.

yes i know but SpringRelaxed is too big for 200mx200mm bed

That gear slices ok in Cura, you should try it instead of Slic3r.

Jan 9, 2016 - Modified Jan 10, 2016
McAlex - in reply to xiaoyao9184

I have the same problem so I am going to order a metal spring from ebay. A metal one will actually give you better performance than the plastic one as it will provide power for longer, the increased tension doesnt matter as the release is controlled by the mechanism. The maker recommend this :


Jan 9, 2016 - Modified Jan 9, 2016
dbostream - in reply to xiaoyao9184

Which parts can you not print? Anything else than the spring? I have a 0.5mm nozzle too. Tried to slice all the parts using Cura and they look ok to me.

I've successfully printed 0.5 module gears with the 0.4mm nozzle (gears in this watch have module 0.7). Therefore I'd expect, that the gears won't cause a problem with the larger nozzle. Most critical piece is probably the anchor - there is not much space between jamming or slipping.

2 detail more:

temperature for PLA?
nozzle? 0.4?


simple "The Best"


Ganz en geili Sach! Toll gmacht!

Very cool dude :)

How long was the print time? I think more than 30h?

Certainly ... but I don't know exact, since it needed for some parts several iterations with changing the design.

Incredible job, thanks for sharing!

This is absolutely awesome! congrats!

amazing, pushing 3D printing to its limits!

There is only 17 parts in the download zip and one of them has Zero data.

The Thingiverse server obviously had a problem. I've re-uploaded a single STL-file, and now the ZIP-file is OK. Try again.

Congratulations on the feature!

Amazing!!!!! Thanks for sharing with the community. Not sure if I will attempt it but I have downloaded just in case. Thanks Again!!!!

Bravo!!! That is easily the best use of 3D printing technology that has been posted to Thingiverse. Simple amazing. Thank you for your hard work.

Wow, that's amazing!

Harrigarria!!! Well done!!

In a word ... Genius!
Massive respect and appreciation to you sir.

Tolle Konstruktion!
Das solltest du dir patentieren lassen ;)
Ich bezweifle jedoch das mein Drucker da mitmacht. (wie schon bei der anderen Uhr)
Wäre schade.

Amazing work again!

Can we get a co-axial escapement watch next?

My farther was a clock maker. When he was alive I showed him some clock parts I had 3d printed, he was so impressed with the quality and the accuracy of the parts! If he were alive today he would have been so impressed with your work as I am, well done I will certainly print this piece of engineering genius! Thank you for sharing :D

My grandfather is a watchmaker and I'm very excited to make this for him!

This will be the ultimate acid test for my home made RepRap Prusa I3 Rework. - thank you for sharing your awesome design!

This looks amazing! I finished your other clock during the Christmas holidays and this one is on my todo list now.

With all the different filaments available today is there any other than PLA that would make the spring last longer?

I tried PLA and PETG with similar results. PLA was initially stronger, but got more tired (deformed shape). PETG is more elastic (and thus less strong), but better keeps it's original shape. I'm also curious about alternatives. Maybe I'll try ABS (even though I don't like this material) ...

My print bed is not big enough to handle the uncoiled spring, so I was going to order something like this : http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Balance-spring-no-1115-for-watch-movement-AS-cal-1686-/361462261705?hash=item5428d467c9:g:vA4AAOSwL7VWi6UD

Think it will work?

Don't mix up "balance-spring" (=hairspring) and "main-spring". For replacing the main-spring I recommend something like this: http://www.amazon.com/Kimpex-Recoil-Spring-11-208-03/dp/B0022ZEPOI

Thanks for the reply, i'm going to get started printing this over the next few days. I will be sure to let you know how I get on. Great work on the design sir.

Maybe Colorfabb's XT-CF20? It says it is twice as stiff as regular PLA.

I dreamed of designing this myself. Excellent and great job!

Dr waahnsinn Christoph!! So zimlech zgliche hani o einisch vorgha zkonstruiere. Aber i gloub iz drucki afa mau dini Version u schenkese mim Dozänt wohni uhretechnik ha gha :) merci viu mau frs Teile!!!

When I download the whole thing as a zip file and extract it, I am only getting 17 of the stl parts that are listed, and they are all in numbers, not in words. Am I doing something wrong?


The Thingiverse server obviously had a problem. I've re-uploaded a single STL-file, and now the ZIP-file is OK. Try again.

I have been waiting for this. Well done! The race now starts for the first one to make a copy!
If you are this person (it could be me :) please share your experience.
I am interesting on how to optimize for a 200mm X 200mm printing plate.

you can not print in ABS? does it work?

I don't know. ABS is shrinking more than PLA - this could be a problem. I'm not using ABS, because I don't like the smell while printing.

Greetings! This watch looks awesome!

Does anyone have a link (if available) to the modular part trays that are pictured with the hardware?

The trays on the picture are my design. There are similar trays published: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:385782

Expandable Dovetail Container System
by cracky

Wow, that is impressive! I will try if my home made prusa i3 will be able to print the parts well enough for a working clock...

This comment has been deleted.
Jan 8, 2016 - Modified Jan 8, 2016

How brilliant is this - well done!

Now is there any chance you could design a version to fit inside this please?

That would be perfect!

Large scale Divers watch desk clock

:-) ... your divers watch looks nice.

WOW i cant wait to make one !

you sir, have made something amazing!


Wow.. This is one to show others. It's not a phone holder or glass.. So few people really use their expensive printer for something interesting. Thanks..