Swiss Watches And 3D Printing: Challenges For The Innovation Of The Tarondo Family

Much is heard talk about 3D printing, in general, associated with words like innovation and technology. Today, this new production process is already used by different market segments, such as automotive, arts, jewelry, footwear, architecture and aerospace. Although the most common one today is small productions with 3D printers, it is a growing technology. After all, three-dimensional printing offers a number of advantages for both business owners and consumers alike.

3D or three-dimensional printing, also called rapid prototyping, unlike what you might imagine, is not a new technique. It was in 1984 that the first 3D impression came about, when American physicist Chuck Hull created lamps for solidifying resins with the technology. 3D printing makes use of additive manufacturing technology to develop three-dimensional models from successive layers of material. Already the additive manufacturing consists of creating products based on digital models in three dimensions.

To do so, you must use a computer for 3D printing, where you draw what you want to print. You still need to use modeling software or even shoot the part and send it to the program that will map the image. There are several types of 3D printing, each with a working principle, different results, different inputs and components. Knowing each type is very interesting to always be in technology and know which type is ideal for every need. One of the initial challenges facing newcomers with 3D printing technology is to distinguish between the various types of 3D printing and available materials.

What is the difference between FDM and SLS 3D printing types, for example? Or SLS and DLP? Or EBM and DMLS? This can be very confusing. Because with so many different acronyms, you will be forgiven for messing up the types of 3D printing with the music genre.

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The first thing to understand is that 3D printing is actually a comprehensive term that refers to a group of 3D printing processes. So there is no 3D printing, but there is 3D printing! The ISO / ASTM 52900 standard, created in 2015, aims to standardize all terminology and classify each type of 3D printer differently. In total, seven different manufacturing process categories for 3D printing have been identified. So in these seven processes grouped several other subcategories that are currently used.

3D technology also penetrated Swiss watches

The watch maker is a profession that has a taste of tradition and love for detail, but which must continue to keep up with technological advancements. The Tarondo family knows that the desire to innovate is in their DNA.

Antonio, who founded the company in 1965 at Tavagnaccio, in the province of Udine, is a true pioneer, one of the first Italian watchmakers to specialize in Switzerland, competing with some established brands like Zenith watches, Rolex watches, Breitling watches and many more. Paolo’s and Marco’s sons followed in their father’s footsteps but on a different path. While Paolo graduated as his father in fine watchmaking at the prestigious Wostep Academy in Neuchatel, Switzerland, Marco studied computer science, opening a family workshop for new digital technology.

“The use of CAD programs for spare parts design – said Marco Tarondo to Energie Sensibili – is a practice that is consolidated for us but the transition to open source platforms such as Arduino and the purchase of the first 3D printer has changed the face of our business. as a raw material, it is ideal for making our precision tools.The mechanism we operate is very smooth and very little is enough to damage an element, so we have to have the right and soft touch ”

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But Tarondos has also been able to take advantage of other possibilities offered by this new technology.

“We have succeeded, for example – continued Marco – to repair some of the machines needed for our work, only by printing in 3D wear-damaged parts. However, our greatest pride is the possibility of designing and directly applying several elements, from the body to the aesthetic part, from the line of our new concept watch, T2Q, designed in collaboration with the University of Padua, is a very precise and resistant device, made with new materials and new construction techniques, from sapphire glass to nanostructure coatings, which can cause chronograph Made in Italy competes directly with high Swiss watchmakers “.

But for Marco Tarondo the search for new ideas and new stimuli surpassed his activities as a watchmaker, prompting him to become one of the first major promoters of FabLab in Udine, whose purpose was to connect talented young people, universities, and naturally innovative reality entrepreneurship.

“To do business – close Marco – today, like yesterday, we especially need” endless hunger “knowledge, as my father taught me, training and innovation are the main tools for staying competitive in any sector”.

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