3D Printers - Would they be able to create custom shells?
May 24, 2013 at 3:17 PM Post #2 of 11

kyuuketsuki

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Not the right material. Also the prints tend to be rough, so if you are working from a perfect 3D model you'd have to sand it down to make it comfortable. A possible solution would be to use the 3D model to make a mold. But this too would be imperfect.

Right now 3D printing isn't at the point where it can do things like that. Consumer level printers can only print in ABS or PLA plastic. Neither of which are ideal or even usable for customs. Unless it is for a mold
 
May 24, 2013 at 4:15 PM Post #4 of 11
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Not the right material. Also the prints tend to be rough, so if you are working from a perfect 3D model you'd have to sand it down to make it comfortable. A possible solution would be to use the 3D model to make a mold. But this too would be imperfect.

Right now 3D printing isn't at the point where it can do things like that. Consumer level printers can only print in ABS or PLA plastic. Neither of which are ideal or even usable for customs. Unless it is for a mold

 
Your ASG-1 is 3D printed 
wink_face.gif

 
May 24, 2013 at 4:46 PM Post #5 of 11

roy_jones

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Cool question.  If they couldn't do it with the current level of tech, I'm sure they'd eventually be able to.  It would seem like a great application for the technology.  Good thinking!
 
May 24, 2013 at 4:53 PM Post #6 of 11
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Cool question.  If they couldn't do it with the current level of tech, I'm sure they'd eventually be able to.  It would seem like a great application for the technology.  Good thinking!

 
It's actually being done right now by Aurisonics and one other company. Can't think of the name right now though.
 
May 24, 2013 at 4:59 PM Post #7 of 11

roy_jones

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It's actually being done right now by Aurisonics and one other company. Can't think of the name right now though.

 
Makes a lot of sense.  I don't know much about the fabrication process for most custom IEMs (I think they're injection molded?), but it would seem logical to think 3D printers would be an option. 
 
I wonder if we could see a company spring up that uses a printer to capture some of the lower cost end of the market as the technology becomes cheaper.  There are guys on the full sized section of the forum that mod the Fostex and sell them as separate headphones and I could see someone here doing that potentially.  Something like the smaller companies like 1964 Ears but more grassroots. 
 
May 24, 2013 at 5:17 PM Post #8 of 11

tinyman392

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Quote:
 
It's actually being done right now by Aurisonics and one other company. Can't think of the name right now though.

 
Was going to say this.  Aurisonics does 3D print their shells. 
 
May 24, 2013 at 5:19 PM Post #9 of 11

Ivabign

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May 24, 2013 at 5:40 PM Post #11 of 11

kyuuketsuki

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The question was for home. Commercial printers are amazing. But you won't get the level of detail from a maker bot or cubify. Unless you get a commercial one than can go lower than 100 microns in detail.

Also ASG-1s are generic fit. Not custom molded. Unless the OP means custom in that custom design for universal and not custom in that the mold is custom to the ear. If they meant the latter then I misunderstood. And yeah, that is totally possible with almost any one (almost). Just so long as it has the resolving ability. I'd say anything lower than 150 microns should do it.

And since the ASG-1s were brought up. I can tell you that they were either sanded or done on a printer that was not a consumer grade printer. It is far too smooth to have been done on that. And I have experience with the Makerbot X2 and the CubeX 3D printers. Both of which are TOTL in consumer 3D printers. The cost it would take to buy a printer capable of that detail so that it would be smooth out of the printer, you might as well purchase a dozen or so CIEMs. And still come out ahead.
 

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