I got to meet Susan Taing, the designer behind the Bhold brand, last November at the Shapeways Factory in New York City and she explained to me that a number of her 3D printed products go through many iterations of development before they become a final product to sell.
Through Ultimaker’s Youmagine online community, Bhold has now made its new iPad Shell Amplifier Prototype available for further open source tinkering and development, or just for 3D printing at home as a really cool and useful product. As a matter of fact, I am printing mine out as I write.
Working with 3D printing at various levels from the onset, Taing and her team have become highly proficient in creating designs specifically for additive manufacturing. Most products are produced by and sold through Shapeways, which means that they are generally manufactured by binder jetting or laser sintering. Although the challenges of designing for desktop FFF have different challenges, these previous experiences have come in handy, as the first users to 3D print the iPad Amplifier report that it requires close to no supports and can be assembled rather easily.
The iPad Amplifier may also leverage Taing’s expertise on designing the Bheard Sound Pod , which went through 37 different iterations that progressively yielded better results. Both work by amplifying the integrated speakers through a natural shape. Now anyone can get involved in the iPad Shell Amplifier development and post comments and ideas on a dedicated Ultimaker Forum page.
Last September Bhold had established an official Bhold Lab in partnership with Ultimaker. Users can both design and print the prototypes and offer their contribution to be part of the creative process. They can interface directly with the Bhold designers and then be notified when the final version is chosen. The iPad Shell is already fairly advanced. Think you can do better?