3D Printing

3D Printed Watch Band

June 26, 2016

I was an early adopter of the Pebble Smart watch. I love the simplicity of the design, that its battery life is amazing, and that I can have a PipBoy on my wrist.  What I do not like is the fragile band. It feels great to wear, but after minimal daily use, it developed a crack which eventually turned into a tear.

June_26__2016_at_0120PM (1)

If you know me, you know what happens next. I 3D printed a new band. What surprised me was how many options there were. At the time of this writing, I could choose from a hard plastic snap-link band, a swanky customizable snap-link, yet another snap-link for paracord, a thin slip-on bracelet that prints in one piece, and multiple soft bands.  I chose to replace the entire band with a flexy model printed in NinjaFlex.

Lulzbot’s version of Cura makes printing in flexible materials pretty painless. First, you “Add a New Machine” – in my case, a Taz5 with modifications and specify the Hexagon hotend with the Flexystruder  v2 toolhead. You’ll need to upload new firmware into the Taz5, but from there, you can use the built-in settings to print for NinjaFlex.

AddNewMachineCuraTaz HexagonCuraTazFlexyStruderv2CuraTaz


To print in NinjaFlex, you first need to prepare the bed with gluestick. For flexible filaments like TPU and TPE (Ninjaflex), gluestick is a release agent, rather than an adhesive. If you try this at home, I highly recommend it. The prints come off cleanly every time.  Using “Normal” settings, the print took 90 minutes. Here’s what it looks like:

June_26__2016_at_0117PM June_26__2016_at_0120PM

The straps reuse the hardware from the old band. You’ll need a thin knife blade to coax the spring-loaded pins from the old band. Be careful- it’s easy to cut your watch or hand in this process.

June_26__2016_at_0122PM June_26__2016_at_0125PM

Move the pins to the new band and remove the clasp pin with the same thin blade. Everything transfers over to the new band. Within 2 hours of deciding I needed a new band, I had one! What’s great is that sites like Thingiverse, Pinshape, and YouMagine make it simple to share and find designs for almost anything you need. Now, all you need is a 3D printer at home….


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  • Reply Tuomas Kare December 22, 2019 at 11:24 am

    How durable was the printed strap?
    Was it soft enough ?

    • Reply skjain2 January 1, 2020 at 2:46 pm

      Very durable! I’ve worn it with the watch until it died, with not so much as a tear or scratch.

  • Reply hakan akin March 23, 2020 at 9:32 am

    who is printing such straps ? i have my own design strap and want to get it prototyped from PU material or this material described here..pls some one reply to this ..

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