We've already heard about technology that allows custom-fit plastic casts to be made for patients, based on 3D scans of the injured limb. Well, Los Angeles-based company Synchronos is now doing something similar, except it's catering to people who want a custom-fit metal wristwatch.
The process begins with Synchronos sending the customer a 3D scanner, which they use to perform a scan of their arm (online tutorials help guide them through doing so). That scan data is then sent back to the company, where it's used to 3D-print the watch's metal wristband – the exact method used is direct metal laser sintering, in which a laser selectively melts metal powder one layer at a time, gradually building up the object.
Once the band is finished, the timepiece itself is mounted on it, and then the whole thing is shipped to the customer.
Known as the Alpha, the unisex wristwatch features a Swiss movement, a patented clasp mechanism, a scratch/shatter-resistant crystal, and it's water-resistant to a depth of 10 m (33 ft). Buyers can choose between stainless steel, aluminum and titanium bands, which in turn can be finished in materials such as 18-karat gold.
The Alpha is currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign. Pledge amounts run from US$349 for a stainless steel model (estimated retail price $499), all the way up to $2,999 for the very limited-edition titanium version. If all goes according to plan, shipping should take place next April.
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