While 3D printing is still mostly used for prototyping, one French watchmaker, Unitam, teamed up with a 3D printing company, Stainless, to build a first of its kind, mass production-ready 3D printed watch. The printer used for this job is a Renishaw AM250, which is used to melt 316L stainless steel powder. Using the laser, the powder is sintered to make a stainless steel case. The watch uses a Miyota movement and French made hands but isn’t completely 3D printed.
This is because the current technology hasn’t reached a point where it can manufacture small and precise components. Nevertheless, the technology is robust and is now adopted for mass-production. The watch was shown off at the Micronora trade show in Besançon, France’s watchmaking city. The watches will start selling in Paris. It is exciting to see the watchmaking industry taking leaps forward with a breakthrough technology and adopting it as a mass-producing option.