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Thread: Adventures in case-making.

  1. #91
    El bot. geoffbot's Avatar
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    Excellent.

    How do you 3d print metal?
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  3. #92
    Quote Originally Posted by geoffbot View Post
    Excellent.

    How do you 3d print metal?
    It isn't a home based thing yet. I've used specialists in NYC and Belgium. The bronze is done by printing a high resolution wax, and using traditional jewelers' lost wax casting techniques to cast bronze, silver, and other metals.

    These movement plates are made by using a super high resolution wax jet printer that shoots tiiiiny drops of wax into stainless powder. Then the wax-steel mix is sent into a kiln to burn of the wax and sinter the steel. This is similar to MIM, metal injection molding, where a metal/binder goo is injected cold into a mold, and then the binder is burned off and the metal sintered. I believe Citizen was the first do use MIM for cases.

    The grey case with the old Longines movement is made by SLM, Selective Laser Melting. A powder of Grade 5 titanium is zapped with a tiny laser to weld the powder together, then powder is reapplied, re-lasered until it forms a part.

    I believe Holthinrichs watches uses the SLM or the similar DLS (direct laser sintering, sintered product without needing the kiln stage).
    The cases the process lets him do are awesome:



    This, in my opinion, is a far better execution of skeletonized lugs than AP's Code11:59. He's been doing these for at least a year, maybe two prior to AP.

    His first time at Basel is this year. Michiel is a really good guy and helped me out with tech and sourcing questions .


    https://holthinrichswatches.com/home/

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  5. #93
    El bot. geoffbot's Avatar
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    That's nuts - I had no idea
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  6. #94
    A little update.

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    Unfortunately going to be HUGE. Like a dressy Panerai.

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  8. #95
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    As mentioned elsewhere, I'm going to be starting my journey to become Canada's newest watch manufacturer. CNC is now here and I will be doing some motor tuning for the servos this coming weekend as well as setting up the coolant loops for the spindle and flood coolant.

    This machine should be powerful and accurate enough to do most major components of the watch.

    Things I'm going to attempt to make with it:

    - Case and case back
    - Dial
    - Hands
    - Buckle and Deployant Clasp
    - Movement Components

    The movement hinted at in the previous post:

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    This will be using the majority of the internal components of an ETA 6497-1. Major difference is that the orientation of the wheel train has been flipped. The small seconds will still be at 9h, but it will appear that the vertical locations of the balance and mainspring have been flipped. It's a little more involved than just mirroring the model since the wheels must still move in their appropriate directions. The decision to do this is simply to indicate that the movement is heavily modified in-house due to the requirement of a completely new mainplate to do this, rather than just some cosmetic parts on top of an ETA mainplate.

    Edit for comparison pics:
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    Last edited by Dimman; Mar 18, 2021 at 01:41 AM.

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  10. #96
    El bot. geoffbot's Avatar
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    Exciting times!
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  12. #97
    So I did some test cuts this weekend.

    Just in wax to make sure everything moves in the right directions and that I had a handle on the software.

    There are multiple levels of software involved in the CNC.

    First you start with a 3d model. Done in CAD or modelling software, I use an old 3d modelling program. I scaled the case down to 50% in this case due to time and material size.

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    Second step is the CAM software. Computer Assisted Manufacturing. This takes the 3d model, some other parameters such as material dimensions and cutter to use, and generates the toolpath for the CNC to cut and outputs a file in GCode.

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    The gcode file is then sent to the CNC control software which in my case runs on my laptop and interfaces with the motion controller in the CNC's electronics box.

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    The material is loaded (jewelers' machinable wax in this case) and the control software is used to zero the machine, ie to tell it where to start meaning the xyz coordinates where you place it are all zero.

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    Then you start the program.

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    Then wait, blowing out wax chips with compressed air occasionally.

    Et voila.

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    Next weekend, aluminum. Then when more specialized cutters come in, stainless steel.

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  14. #98
    El bot. geoffbot's Avatar
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    Wicked
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