I’ve been watching my buddy Nicholas Manousos for a few years now. He’s been designing and printing large representations of various watch parts and movements and posting them on Facebook for a while, and he’s just completed his pièce de résistance: a working tourbillon in brightly colored plastic.
A tourbillon is an 18th century system for reducing the effects of gravity on an oscillating escape wheel. By slowly turning the wheel 360 degrees, the early watchmaker-physicists thought it would exert equal force around the edge of the wheel.
Whether it works is still in doubt, but it looks cool. Manousos designs all the parts himself and assembles them. He doesn’t sell his creations (although he should) nor has he made any of his plans available. He is an enigma wrapped in a Makerbot.
This model, created using a skate bearing and a bunch of hand-designed gears, is a striking example of the tourbillon at work. You should check out Manousos’ work on Facebook and we’ll try to grab him for TC Makers in the next few weeks. Stay tuned.