Custom 3D printed earphones.
Custom earphones are a hot topic for manufacturers in the consumer 3D printing sector and the latest model comes from New York based company Normal who are implementing Stratasys 3D printers to mass-produce a new range of customised earphones.
Operating with 10 Stratasys machines, the company is using Stratasys Fortus 250mc FDM printing technology to take custom parts from app to manufacture in as little as 48 hours.
Customers can either order from Normal’s flagship store in New York which also serves as their factory and headquarters or through a free mobile app where they can be customised to fit the users ear along a choice of seven colour preferences and chord length.
"We're excited to be able to create accessible, tailor-made earphones that sound incredible," explained Normal's Founder and CEO Nikki Kaufman. "We're using Stratasys' 3D printing technology to build a product that is completely personalised."
3D printing allows the company to significantly reduce the cost and lead time incurred with traditional manufacturing processes. Whereas custom earphones would normally require healthcare standard silicon moulds and a price tag somewhere in the thousands, these 3D printed parts can be made with ABSplus thermoplastic at a much lower cost and sold for $199.
"The implications of 3D printing for a company like Normal are huge. It's a game-changer for customised goods: the ushering in of a new era in manufacturing," said Stratasys' Vice President of Marketing, Bruce Bradshaw. "Today, companies can offer consumers customised products, in a time-efficient manner, made possible with 3D printing."
Normal is not the first company to try its hand at 3D printing custom earphones. Back in August OwnPhones launched a Kickstarter campaign offering custom earphones including a more jewellery-like range, set for release in March this year.