Sep 15, 2015 | By Tess

It would be difficult to find someone who hasn't encountered frustrations surrounding the cost of brand name, stylish headphones. Most of us are pushed into spending upwards of $200 on them for a good balance of quality sound and style. Luckily, 3D printing technology could potentially change this reality.

Print+, a 3D printing design company founded by Patrick Schuur, that bases itself on the principle of DIY manufacturing, has recently launched a Kickstarter campaign for their first DIY 3D printed product: headphones. Their goal for the project is to provide people with customizable, affordable, and quality headphones that can be assembled and partially made on the spot. On a bigger scale as well, by launching the DIY headphones they are hoping to promote and encourage a new approach to manufacturing and consumption, one that is in line with the 3D printing industry's own ideals of customization, accessibility and even sustainability.

As stated on their company profile, "Print+ envisions a future where people become the manufacturer of their own products…When 'consumers' become 'manufacturers' they will also be able to extend the lifetime of their products."

As their Kickstarter page stipulates, Print+, upon purchase of the headphones, will send a kit of the non-printable headphone parts, as well as the 3D printed files and instructions for assembly. The headphones are made up of several components: the non-printable ones include a sound seat, 40mm speakers, cushions, a soft headband and an audio cable.

The parts that have been designed to be 3D printed are 2 speaker housings, 2 speaker covers, and 1 headframe. Once all the parts are manufactured and in one place, the assembly is quick and easy, no tools are even necessary!

As mentioned, Print+ will send you the non-printable parts, along with the files to be 3D printed, which can either be easily printed on your own FDM desktop 3D printer, or taken to a local 3D Hub. 3D Hubs, a worldwide network of 3D printers, with tens of thousands of locations in over 150 countries, make the manufacturing of 3D printed files easy and accessible for those without a desktop 3D printer. Print+ also advises for those seeking to print the headphones through a 3D Hub to choose ones that they have certified in order to receive a high standard of quality for a fair, fixed price.

Aesthetically as well, the headphones are simple, but effective in their design. And, as they are truly customizable, any colour available to be 3D printed with can be used for them. For the moment, Print+ has disclosed that for the non-printable parts only black is currently available, though they intend to make more colors available soon if they reach their stretch goals.

The Kickstarter campaign, recently launched on September 14th, and which expires on October 14th, has already reached more than half of their goal of 10,000 euro. The standard price for one headphone kit on the Kickstarter page (not including the early bird specials) is 22 euro, a deal compared to regular retail headphones. If they reach their goal, the production of the headphones will begin immediately and Print+ estimates the orders will be delivered by December of 2015.

The customizable headphones are Print+'s first project and if their Kickstarter reaches its goal for this first venture, we expect to see many more DIY 3D printed designs by them, furthering the already growing and exciting world of DIY additive manufacturing.


Posted in 3D Printing Applications



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