3D printing has come a long way during the last decade, but questions about mainstream adoption are still around technology. Medical devices have been a very compelling use case – they are not really mass-produced and require high levels of personalization. Explicit orthodontics is a great example of something falling on that lovely spot – in fact, dental in general has been a big application.
Audio has a lot of capability. For example, imagine a set of headphones that is designed for your ears. This technique, courtesy of Molding, has been available on high-end models for some time, but 3D printing can unlock a more easily scalable version of that kind of luxury.
This week, Senhizer announced a partnership that would use Formlabs technology to print custom earphones. In particular, the headphone manufacturer will be using a Form 3B, a printer design that is used with biocompatible materials that have been used extensively for dental applications. The specifics of the product have not been revealed, but the audio company’s Ambeo division will use the technology to create custom headphones earphones. Users can scan their ears from a smartphone and send it to the company to print a tip.
Ian McLeod, Audio Head of FormLabs, said in a release, “Our technology collaboration with Senhesor seeks to change the way customers interact with the brand, which they call a more customized, user-centric approach to product development Enable. ” And extensive expertise in developing scalable solutions enables us to provide tangible innovation to our customers. In this case, we are working with Senheiser’s Ambeo team to deliver a uniquely accessible, custom fit experience. “
The product is still very much in the prototype stage. And while such a partnership seems like a non-mindset for headphone manufacturers, there are some big questions here, including pricing and scalability. Obviously such products will come at a premium over standard headphones, but not at such a high cost as to surpass such novelty.
The release described it as “a cheaper and simpler solution that is now available for large-scale 3D print custom-fitted earphones.” What, well, means that inexpensive remains should be seen.