Custom earphones are one of a hi-fi enthusiast's most useful tools. Everyone has different ear canals and a custom earphone specifically tailored to an individual’s ear-print provides unmatched comfort, fit and sound quality.
Standard custom earphones are typically made by big studios or large established manufactures and typically cost thousands of dollars. But with a 3D scanner, high precision 3D printer and a little know-how on CAD design, you can make your own custom earphone.
Dr. Nikolai Kosyrev DDS PhD, Chief Doctor of Dental Center in Moscow (@dentapromoscow), was able to turn his AirPods v.2 into a custom fit earphone. Let’s take a look on how he made it.
First, he acquired his ear canal impression. This is normally done in two ways: Either using a silicone-based putty that is pumped into his ear to produce an impression, or by using an advanced in-ear scanner. Dr. Nikolai Korsyrev tried both but chose the first method.
Afterwards, the A-silicone impression and Airpod were scanned with Smartoptics Vinyl High Resolution dental lab scanner. Instead of recreating an entire custom earphone, which involves knowledge of electronics and circuitry, Dr. Nikolai Kosyrev decided to instead substitute that with a previously owned earphone. The resulting product would then be a wireless AirPods that perfectly fits the ear while providing optimal sound isolation and quality.
Size accurate Airpods models were then imported into the software. With a little bit of 3D know-how, Dr. Kosyrev was able to create a perfect printable model that was ready to be produced. Using UNIZ’s Slash Plus, a cutting edge, fast and precise 3D printer, the doctor was able to produce the model in lossless quality.
Since the Slash Plus can be used with third party resins, he used the Siraya Blue, Siraya Tenacious, Harzlabs Dental Clear resins.
Post cured submerged in warm water to eliminate smear layer on top of print surface. But in regard to health and safety, it`s better to apply liquid varnish over resins with that doesn’t have bio-compatibility certifications.
The finished product: an extremely comfortable, high quality custom earphone. Give this a try at home!
(Picture source: Dr. Nikolai Kosyrev DDS PhD, @dentapromoscow, https://www.facebook.com/dr.kosyrev)