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This designer 3D printed a Rolex watch and the results could impact how we personalise wearables

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What you see in the pictures here is a Rolex Submariner watch made at 300% scale using a 3D printer. Everything but the Perspex face and the battery-powered clock mechanism of it were achieved with 3D filament, a tube of super glue and a lot of patience.

Designed, produced and assembled by Franc Falco, design specialist at creative consultancy Wolff Olins, the ‘watch’ was an exercise in his own 3D modelling capabilities, as well as that of his Ultimaker 2 desktop 3D printer. In true open source fashion, the plans were made available for anyone to download from Thingverse.com (a library of 3D printed designs run by MakerBot), including schematics for all the necessary parts and a detailed PDF from Falco on how to assemble them.

The Rolex branding was actually removed on the site to avoid any legal issues, but that’s not to say the resulting product is yet a real threat to the luxury watch brand. Accordingly to Falco, while a few critics have tried to sensationalise the idea that desktop 3D printing will mean anyone can print out their own functional version, that isn’t going to happen for 5 – 10 years. “Quality, tolerances and materials aren’t yet available to produce anywhere near a useable watch, but it will happen when technology catches up,” he explains.

Read more of his thoughts on where all this is headed, including how it could impact the personalisation of wearable technology like the Apple Watch via the full story on Forbes.com.

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Wallpaper* mag invites readers to create own covers again

Wallpaper* magazine has launched its second customisable covers initiative ahead of its August issue.

Following on from the success of last year, readers can once again create their own cover based on a series of graphics, shapes, colours and photography.

Each design will be bound to a copy of the August “Handmade issue” and delivered to the reader.

A series of animated designs can also be selected for use online, with each creation displayed in the Custom Covers gallery at Wallpaper.com.

A Rolex ‘Live for Greatness’ ad on the back page can be personalised too. One of two watches can be selected, as well as a date that will appear on the face of the timepiece, alongside the line: “Some days are made for greatness”.

Publishing director, Gord Ray, said: “Our last Custom Covers project was incredible, with more than 21,000 unique covers created – and delivered. This time, we have an even better design tool, and the back-cover ad from our partner Rolex really adds to the interactive, bespoke experience.”

Applications are open until May 31. The issue goes on sale July 14.