How to print headphones

October 11, 2012

Printable headphones (credit: Teague Labs)

What if printed prototypes could become actual products? John Mabry of Teague Labs.decided to try it by creating printable headphones.

The idea was to print an object that could be assembled without any tools and be made functional by adding readily attainable components. He decided to stress-test the premise with the challenge of making electronically simple yet functionally complex headphones.

“My first go resulted in a good-looking functional model created on a professional ABS FDM machine,” he said. “It worked out well, but the machine we used isn’t accessible to the average maker, and two of the critical parts relied heavily on soluble support printing — a non-issue for professional 3D printers, a major issue for desktop 3D printers.

“With that in mind, I started to adapt the design to the Maker Bot Replicator last week. The main challenge: How to build to a similar level of quality without soluble support. With a bit of experimentation, I’m pretty sure it can be done.

“So, look for some updates on that very soon! In the meantime, I posted the current model(s), component list, and instructions on Thingiverse for you to make your own working headphones right now.”

Impressive. Now how about printing an MP3 player to listen to? — Ed.