Home-Made IEMs

  1. jbr1971
    The Formlabs printer, even with the expensive dental resin, is looking better and better every day.
  2. zhannum
    Hi all! I've been lurking here for quite awhile, but I thought now would be the perfect time to jump in. Over the past couple months, I've been working on 3d printing CIEMs with a Formlabs Form 1+ printer. I think the results have been pretty successful. They are coated with Lack 3.


    All fitted with GV, kapton tape removed, green and red dampers.
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2017
    Genio Croto and jbr1971 like this.
  3. jbr1971
    Very nice. For the color did you paint the inside with color uv acrylic and cure? Or did you paint the outside, cure, and add Lack 3 over top?
  4. zhannum
    I actually used epoxy dye from Castin' Craft. Just added drops directly to the clear resin before printing, so the shell itself is actually that color. I also applied Lack3 to the inside with a pipette to get them as optically transparent as possible. I have some actual fotoplast coming in though, I want to try dipping the shells instead.
    jbr1971 likes this.
  5. Im1fan2nv
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2017
  6. rayhe19
    Has anyone tried reshelling iems? I understand the effects of dampers, resistors, and capacitors to change the sound of BA drivers but I don't think I'll have the time and patience to re-solder components and strip tubing from BAs over and over. I was considering reshelling TFZ Kings to make a CIEM with a DD considering they are on massdrop for $70 and the only thing ill need is just to make my own shells. Would this be a good idea?
  7. cjxj
    No experience with re-shelling as you're describing. However as a newbie now with a total of 4 CIEMs under my belt, your assumptions on what is easy and what is hard seems WAY reversed from what I've experienced. For me, hooking up a set of BA's with dampers, crossover caps/resistors, and wiring the connectors are by far the easiest and quickest part of the build. This is especially true if you use a pre configured combo set like an HE, BK, etc or some proven recipes that you can easily find in this thread. Impressions, molds, pouring, curing, finishing, installing connectors, face plates, polishing, etc, etc is far and away the most tedious and and takes (at least me) the most time by a large margin. "Your mileage may vary". Also looks like you'll have some challenges to port the DD into the canal as it's now an integral part of the universal shell. Perhaps for proof of concept, I'd suggest to try a $15 set of KZ zst's with detachable cable, easily removed connector, a DD in similar configuration and a BA in the canal. Good luck!
    Shilohsjustice likes this.
  8. rayhe19
    As a dentist and someone that has built model kits all my life, I don't think I will have too much trouble in the assembly and adjustment process. Not to mention I have good access to curing lights, curing resin, buffing wheels and the what have you. I was planning to get the kit from diyearphones to start things off. However, I don't have faith in my ability and knowledge to properly tune a multi BA setup. There are many products (universal IEMs) out there that are expensive, but sound weird to many people. I understand that a part of home made CIEMs is the ability to tune it specifically to your own preferences but that task is a little daunting for me starting off. It's definitely my dream to have that sort of expertise but I figured assembling and combining 2 packages into one would be a nice way to start on this hobby. I think your suggestion to have a trial run with a cheaper set is a really good idea and I really appreciate it!

    For a dynamic driver setup, would I have to make a hole in the shell? I see that many dynamic drivers have that hole in their housing and I'm wondering what that does.
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2017
  9. ForceMajeure
    Dynamic drivers require venting. Not only do they require it, but it's a big factor regarding their tuning. Front vent and back vent are typical way to control them. Some use both type, some use one of the two. There are different levels of venting in sealed iems (amount of obscuring/permeability), especially front venting that is a big part of subbass an lower bass tuning in sealed drivers...

    Every driver has its own tuning so if you plan on transferring a TFZ driver for example, you'll have to recreate the same conditions/same chambering etc...
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2017
  10. Audiotistic
    Aren't there dd iem's without vents?
  11. rayhe19
    Hmm, I should probably just work with an armature bundle then since their datasheets and whatnot are more available. Lots to learn :)
  12. jbr1971
    When I built mine with dd's and GK's I did not add any vents and I really like the bass in them. I will have to build another set with a vent to compare. I am curious now how much of a difference it will make.
  13. tomekk
    I'm interested in something unusual. Do you have any examples of impressions that you could not make IEM from?
  14. cjxj
    I think much more important to research impression characteristics that are required in order to make a proper fitting CIEM. It really doesn't matter how great your driver setup is if your shells don't fit perfectly, without leaks and yet with a comfortable fit. Recommend search for "audiologist impression guide" from one of the custom in ear companies such as 64 audio or others. They usually have pictures of both good and bad impressions.
    tomekk likes this.
  15. tomekk
    I agree. Additionally not every audiologist knows what IEMs are. For example, my laryngologist/audiologist during a routine visit, saw IEMs in his life for the first time.

    To clarify, I do not mean quality I mean untypical impressions from the ears (small size, unusual channels?). Examples when you have to say: Sorry mate, your ears/impressions are untypical for IEM.

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