Skeleton, but with working gears / actions

Not all of them, but some gears turning


Work in progress … (proof-of-concept)

[superseded, see below]

nice @andrew.dowden :+1:. As to your skeleton search comment I think one of the attributes of these skeleton digital designs is that they are doing “something” when you glance at them. I would venture that a large majority of the public has no idea what the gears do (except to turn the hands somehow) and are not privy to rotational math and gear ratios, etc. When a wearer looks at their watch for less than 2 seconds they want to see the gears doing something… anything. So on my design above, I just turned the surface gears and the partially hidden escape wheel. The majority of skeleton builds I’ve seen here are rocking at least one gear back and forth with a sine function. But for those who know what they’re looking at, that’s a nice working model you have. Your tooth alignment (size and speed) is very, very good. I’m sure with a couple 'o beers in hand you could spend a good hour complaining (or boasting) about how hard that was right? totally understand here.


To clarify, the above diagram I found …

That was from someone’s attempt to explain the inner workings and how to build a wooden pendulum clock, from scratch. They skipped most of the details, but did describe the maths of ‘gear trains’ and some details on pendulums …

I was able to reproduce the diagram, which has a deceptive level of detail, fairly easily. But, the gears themselves are very specific. The exact ratio, size, and placement can not be adjusted, only scaled as a whole. This required a fairly-sophisticated spreadsheet (18 columns for numbers, per gear).

So, I can share some gear blanks (or short 2-3 gear trains), if you need them for your skeletons … 300dpi, grey/outline, etc.

And, I will see how much effort it takes to ‘finish’ this test example.

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Finished ‘proof of concept’.

With all 7 gears meshed and in correct rotation. The second hand is included, but not yet supported.

[back soon, being updated]

Update: watch escape mechanism …

Pre-1970 wristwatch: (5 beats per second)

Great work so far! Very interesting idea to build a really physically correct working model.

Very cool idea - Looking forward to see what comes of it :slight_smile:

High-precision watch: (8 beats per second)

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You should do a sine rotation on the spring - will look better…

I am, it’s a speed issue.

I may have to simulate using a slower rate, less steps, or something more complicated …

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I don´t mean the gear, i mean the spring itself.

We had that speed issue as well on the Amanda face. Tomaja had the idea to use a "fuzzy"gear…

I can send you a picture what i mean when i am at home.


I did do a draft ‘fuzzy spring’, but didn’t like my initial effort.

Amazing!!! I was thinking about this, but only visual, not real working gears. This made my day. Do u have tutorial?

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Here is the sample of the fuzzy gear!

Hope you can use it…

In the “Amanda” watch face it looked very nice and shows the speed very well.

Maybe i could make one tomorrow, from your template.

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Blank ‘Balance’:

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Just finishing up a contract (end-of-June). May have time now, to put together some tutorials …

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Update: Re-rendered gears, and minimal tidy-up of presentation.

published, inspection enabled


Very nice work @andrew.dowden. that’s quite a lot of math work and art work:+1: