Ingenious engineers with increasingly fine-tuned fabricators are constantly pushing the boundaries of what you can 3D-print. While NASA is testing its first 3D-printed rocket engines—made by special printers that work with powdered metal—home DIYers with plastic-based printers are pulling off some impressive stunts as well. Just check out this fully functional mechanical pocket watch, for instance.
Designed by , this watch is a real work of art. Powered by a spring-driven tourbillon—a complex mechanical garble of springs and gears that is still used today in some particularly expensive mechanical watches—the watch can tick the time away in any orientation, even while it is being wound. The watch is made of some 51 printed parts, as well as a handful of non-printed screws, pins, and washers. And while it's a little big to fit in a pocket, it is a fully functional pocket watch:
There's one more caveat beside size, however: This watch isn't particularly accurate. As Laimer points out in the comments on his YouTube video, the watch loses about half a second per minute, an inaccuracy that'll add up quick.
That said, this obviously isn't a practical device. Instead, it's a marvel of 3D-printed engineering and one hell of a desktop toy. Good luck designing on yourself, but if you have a printer on hand, you can .