July 9, 2014

Hardware startup Normal has just launched its custom 3D-printed earphones in the US market that are custom-built based on photos you take of your own ears. Normals are fully personalized for each user's ear. Using Normal's mobile app, users take photos of each ear and send the data out to Normal, then engineers there design the earphones to fit each user's ears.

Normal CEO and founder Nikki Kaufman

Once an order is submitted, Normal assembles the components according to the customers' selections and uses Stratasys Fortus 250mc 3D printers to personalize the fit of each pair of earphones in New York City. Normals are made inhouse, and, according to the company, each order can be delivered in as little as 48 hours.

Normal CEO and founder Nikki Kaufman is a graduate of Princeton University, and was a founding team member at consumer product company Quirky. Normal explains the reasoning behind custom-made earphones. "What you may not realize is that your ears are quite unlike anyone else's. Completely unique." When she was tired of poor-quality earphones that didn't fit, she looked into having a custom pair made. What she found was an exhaustive process that involved a visit to the doctor's office, uncomfortable silicon molds, a three week wait, and a $2,000 price tag.

Normal aims to change all of that. The company offers a free app to download from the iTunes App Store or the Google Play Store, and the Normal customized earphones will only cost you around $199. Normal's site claims that each custom shell is made of premium components, including "UV coated ABS/PC inner cabinet, a 14mm neodymium dynamic driver, CNC anodized aluminum outer cabinet, 3D printed ABS soft touch coated earform, bass tube, coaxial connector, a CNC anodized aluminum cable housing".

"We're extremely excited to launch Normal and fill a void in the market with tailor-made earphones that sound incredible," Kaufman said in a press release. "Employing innovative technologies across 3D printing and mobile commerce, we've developed a product that is completely personalized for you."

(Photos : Normal)

Normal earphones can be pre-ordered for $199 beginning today and will ship in early August. Alternatively the brand plans to open its flagship shop in New York City's Chelsea neighborhood and launch their own storefront on their website starting on August 9th.


Posted in 3D Printing Applications

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