Time-IT watch has produced a new watch series using Shapeways to print the watch cases in bronze. I talked with Ramon Groen, the company’s founder, about his company and how 3D printing is helping to push the boundaries of product development and wearable tech.
Please introduce yourself. What is your background and what inspired you to create Time-IT watch?
My name is Ramon Groen and I have been entrepreneurial since the start of the new millennium. I made career at a former Philips division and in 2004 I founded my own company, TIME-IT watch. We had the idea of creating a watch never seen before – a LED display with linear time reading system that we hoped could change perception of time. TIME-IT watch company ( http://timeitwatch.com/about) specializes in designer LED watches even received a design award in Paris in 2006. I’m proud to say that TIME-IT is one of the mayor players in the niche market for designer LED watches worldwide.
What was your design and iteration process like?
When we started the company we had to start from scratch. We had to build a non-existing technology and it took us lots and lots time to send samples back and forth to one another. It was an intense iteration process and took about two years to have our first watch ready that worked really well.
How did 3D printing enable you to bring this idea to life?
We always want to experiment with new designs, techniques and materials. Based on our experience in the development and production of watches and having acces to a 3d printer we decided to make some prototypes just around the corner of our office in Amsterdam. We got so excited with the outcome and were surprised with the speed of this new design and iteration proces that we decided to send a 3d]D design to Shapeways to see how a high quality 3D print would look and whether it would be good enough to use as end product. The result was mind blowing! We decided to launch our first limited watch series of 200 watches with the case printed in in bronze metal by Shapeways.
In your opinion, how do you feel 3D printing is enabling and empowering product designers?
I think 3d printing is the future for product designers. it’s a great way to get to the best design in a short time, no expensive moulds or tooling is needed, practically you make a product at ‘no cost.’