With 3D printers gaining more popularity it's only a matter of time until people start printing their own functional gadgets at home. We've seen some creative designers build working guitars and even firearms in just the past few months alone, but these aren't exactly products most people would need around the house. Teague Labs' John Mabry may have found a much more practical device to print with his "13:30" headphones, which were assembled from 3D printed components and fitted together by hand.
The 13:30 headphones get their name from the amount of time they took to print (13 hours and 30 minutes) using a Dimension 1200ES model ABS FDM machine. Mabry started out with the goal of creating something that could be put together into a working product right out of the printer without the need for any tools. As such, all of the 3D printed parts were designed to snap together by hand along with some simple electronics. The electronic components (speakers, wiring, RCA jacks, etc.) were purchased separately, but still fit into the whole frame without the need for any soldering.
But don't get too excited about the idea of building your own set of custom headphones from scratch just yet. As it stands, Mabry's headphone design requires soluble support to keep it from breaking apart, which can't be done by most consumer-level 3D printers. He's currently adjusting the designs for each piece for use with the more common Maker Bot Replicator, so people with home printers can use them.
So we're still some way off from being able to pick a gadget and watch it printed right in front of us, but these headphones are certainly a step towards being able to print much more complex devices with just a simple home printer. In the meantime, Mabry has posted the CAD files for the design to Thingiverse along with instructions for anyone who wants to try their hand at printing a pair of 13:30 headphones for themselves.
Source: Teague LabsView gallery - 5 images