Featured image of Beautiful 3D Printed Copper Steampunk Apple Watch Cover
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Beautiful 3D Printed Copper Steampunk Apple Watch Cover

Picture of Hanna Watkin
by Hanna Watkin
Jan 31, 2017

Already bored of your Apple Watch’s appearance? Jeremy Burnich designed a copper steampunk cover and used the i.materialise service to 3D print it.

If you want a watch which is more industrial than modern, check out Jeremy Burnich’s solution. Burnich has previously created both bronze and silver watch cases, but this time, he wanted to use a different material – copper.

His aim was to achieve a true Steampunk aesthetic as he explained to i.materialise:

“This cover had to be copper. I’ve been trying to get something made in copper ever since i.materialise started offering it as a 3D printing material. Copper is a beautiful metal that gains character through use and is lustrous when polished so I really wanted to work with it. With this project, I knew I had a good candidate for something affordable and castable.”

Burnich already had a base 3D model from his previous 3D printed cases. However, his challenge was to create a Steampunk look so he began researching the idea.

After deciding he wanted his watch to appear to be running from a boiler, he modeled the look in Rhino and ZBrush. The modern device needed to appear as though it was converting steam to generate electricity and powering the watch.

Making a Copper Steampunk 3D Printed Apple Watch Case

Burnich explained his design saying:

“Since one side had the digital crown and a button I decided that would be the control area of ‘the machine’. The bottom quarter would house steam fittings, the left quarter would be the gears and a connecting rod, and the top quarter and bezel would have electrical related things. And the whole case itself would be the boiler.”

Once he was done with his design, Burnich then uploaded the model to the i.materialise website. All he had to do was select the ‘copper’ option and let i.materialise handle the rest.

Burnich also ordered a green leather band for his watch. In just a couple of days, both the print and the band arrived.

However, it didn’t take long for Burnich to begin making amendments. He decided to give the cover a surface treatment. He explains: “I waited a few days then said ‘What the hell’ and dumped it in a solution of liver of Sulphur and hot water. The surface changed pretty much instantaneously from shiny coppery orange to a matte charcoal black. There was no going back now.”

After oxidizing the case, Burnich needed to do some careful Dremel work. However, parts of the cover are very susceptible to damage, so caution was taken. After that, a Renaissance Wax was used to protect the patina and the watch was ready to wear.

If you fancy your own Steampunk Apple Watch, make sure to check out Burnich’s Etsy shop where he sells the covers for £99.02. Or alternatively, design your own cover and make use of i.materialise’s copper printing option.

Source: i.materialise

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