Julian Goulding is a designer who is a South African native and New Zealand resident. His latest project is what he calls “the world’s first fully 3D printed and personal earphones.” And whether they are the first or not, they are really very cool. This is an application that is highly suited to the benefits of 3D scanning and 3D printing. Indeed, I have a hazy recollection of discussing this as a perfect app for 3D printing a year or so ago at an industry event with Jez Pullin, but it was late in the day, I think we were at the bar(!). Anyway, for whatever reason, it never got any further than that as we stalled on ways of scanning the inner ear.
Julian, however, with design talent and flair has taken this application to the n’th degree. The earbuds, branded Accord, can be ordered via an Android only app. Once ordered there are a couple of options for personalization and fitting —the consumer can either order an ear-moulding kit to produce moulds of their inner ears themselves, or they can get their ears modelled by an audiologist. Either way, the moulds, once produced can be sent to Accord for 3D scanning and subsequently prepared as a 3D file. These can then be printed and assembled in the consumer’s chosen material, on demand, locally — thereby eliminating the need for mass-production and significantly the typical carbon footprint of products of this nature.
Julian’s goal is to have production availability in early 2014.
Photo Credits: Joshua Goulding
Source: Julian Goulding