3D Printing Binaural Headphones with Hooke Audio

Hooke Verse

Industry: Consumer electronics
Application: Headphones
Benefits of 3D Printing:

– Rapid prototyping
– In-house production
– Low development costs

Consumer electronics are prime candidates for 3D printing. It’s possible for start-ups to conceptualise and prototype product iterations at minimal cost with 3D printing, with the added benefit of keeping everything in-house. Even established technology brands are using 3D printing right now for these reasons.

Designers of electronics that have snap-fit cases, or other forms of housing made from plastic will benefit greatly from 3D printing. Specifically, 3D printing of the stereolithography (SLA) variety. SLA is the best technology for 3D printing complex models that stretch traditional manufacturing techniques. Intricate details and digitally produced geometries can be 3D printing with aplomb using an SLA printer.

The Hooke Verse Headphones

Hooke Audio know this all too well. Their newest headphones, the Hooke Verse, were conceptualised with CAD software and prototyped with the Formlabs Form 1+ 3D printer (now succeeded by the Form 2).

The Hooke Verse project was ambitious from the start. Company CEO Anthony wanted a way to perfectly capture his 3D studio sound work. He stumbled upon binaural recording, a method of recording sound with the intent of reproducing it as a 3D stereo sound. The technology uses two microphones dedicated to the task. Anthony decided headphones were the best device for this, since the microphones would be ideally positioned near the ears.

Versa sketch

Anthony’s 3D sketches for the headphones spurred in motion production. Hooke’s mechanical and electrical engineer Joshua recalled seeing a Formlabs Form 1+ 3D printer in a magazine. They purchased the printer, and the rest is history.

The Hooke Audio team used the Form 1+ to manufacture numerous iterations of their headphones. The key benefit to this was time-saving, but the most noticeable benefit was reduced cost. “We would’ve spent easily three-grand just to get micro changes done, then go back and do more prototyping,” said Anthony, CEO of Hooke Audio, “but we got a Form 1+ and the device very quickly paid for itself.”

Versa internals

The team printed the headphones in a few different resins. These were Black, Grey, White, and Clear Resins. The headphones were a hit with prospective clients. They entered production shortly afterwards and are on sale now.

3D Printer: Form 1+ – the new model is the Form 2.

Material(s) used: Black, Grey, White, and Clear Resin.

This information was first published on the Formlabs website.