3D printed escapement models

I like models that illustrate the functioning of certain components of a watch movement in enlarged form. These movement models originated in watchmaking schools, where particularly high-quality examples were produced as study objects and showpieces.

Today I’m showing you something much simpler, namely models of a Swiss lever escapement and of a tourbillon, both from the 3D printer.

Although 3D-printed models are not as beautiful as real, handcrafted escapement models, they are much easier to find and around 100 times cheaper.

I neither developed nor printed the models shown myself, but bought them ready-made. If you want to make something like this yourself, you can find plenty of inspiration and complete templates online.

Model of a Swiss lever escapement

The model measures 21 x 9 x 5 cm and has a running time of around 100 seconds after winding. Both the mainspring (red) and the hairspring (white) of the balance come from 3D printing. Isochronous oscillation is not to be expected here, but at least it oscillates! And it does so at approx. 18,000 bph (beats per hour), a typical value for pocket watch movements and older wristwatch movements.

The large yellow wheel corresponds to the mainspring barrel with its toothing, the small yellow wheel is the escape wheel. In a real movement, the minute wheel, the main wheel and the second wheel are normally located in between. In this model, a single blue wheel takes their place. The model also has no hands.

In the video you can see and hear how the escapement model works:

Escapement model of a tourbillon

This model has a diameter of around 10 cm and is 4 cm high.
It runs for about 60 seconds after winding and oscillates at approx. 12,500 bph. It takes just over 60 seconds to complete one revolution, making it almost a classic minute tourbillon.

From above:

From below:

In the video, you can see very clearly how the entire unit consisting of balance, anchor and escape wheel rotates in a circle:

If you would like to know more about how a tourbillon works, you will find more information here: Tourbillon How It Works

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