2 Industrial Laser Solutions MARCH/APRIL 2017 www.industrial-lasers.com
3D printing enables a revolution in
LUGANO, SWITZERLAND – We know that glass has unique
capabilities: it is transparent, corrosion-resistant, thermally stable, electrically insulating, scratch- and abra-sion-resistant, elastic, and biocompatible. But who
imagined using glass that combines all these properties with its tribological behavior to make complete
three-dimensional watch mechanisms, integrating precision, aesthetics, and multi-func-tionalities? Probably none before FEMTOPRINT’s 3D printing era.
Ten years after the frst InnoVision timepiece, Swiss watch manufacturer Ulysse Nardin presented a second version at the Geneva
Watch Exhibition last January (SIHH 2017).
The InnoVision2 is an exceptional timepiece
that is pushing innovation boundaries. Ulysse
Nardin chose FEMTOprint and its versatile
laser platform to design, shape, and create
real sculptures as well as multi-functional components
out of glass for this watch.
FEMTOprint SA’s innovative 3D printing platform is
able to produce challenging, monolithic 3D shapes at
sub-micron resolution with high precision, repeatabil-
ity, and optical surface quality, thanks to its versatil-
ity and the inexpensive confguration. This technology
is an affordable and transformative solution to lead-
ing-edge markets like
the watch industry.
InnoVision2 is an example of how progressive atti-
tudes and advanced laser technologies can work
together to create an innovative product, on which cre-
ativity pictured a fne 3D-printed transparent minute
hand (FIGURE 1), a monolithic component with integrated
balance shock protection, micro-channels for a distinct
illumination, and their own brand engraved in the bulk.
At the same time, accuracy on the critical dimensions,
material properties, and surface quality were key.
The InnoVision2 watch features unique 3D glass sculp-
tures—nothing like anything seen before. Each compo-
nent of this timepiece boasts an innovation, and the
FEMTOPRINT platform allowed conceiving the new trans-
parent functional components,
which are precise and show an
amazing combination in a mono-
lith of fuidics, mechanics, and low
friction between moving parts,
high surface quality, and beauty.
The integration of these new func-
tionalities makes this watch a rev-
olution in horology.
Among the 10 innovations
brought to this timepiece, a new
concept of light and the use of
FIGURE 1. The InnoVision2
timepiece features a
3D-printed glass minute
hand (detail shown in inset).
(Photo credit: Ulysse Nardin/
FIGURE 2. Detail of the glass bridge (inset)
with integrated balance shock protection.
(Photo credit: Ulysse Nardin)