Hi, I’m Nick and I’m designing my own pair of hearing-enhancing wearables in my bedroom. Now last time we looked at some digital 3D-models of how these wearables could look, but to make sure it fits correctly, it’s really hard to do on a computer. So Gray, being the industrial design genius that he is, has been on a 3D-printing marathon to design and print a wearable that is actually wearable.
Now, the longer we work on this project, the more we realised just how weird ears are to design for. So it's been a pretty fiddly process.
First, we started with a digital 3D version of the wearable. Then Gray sent this to his 3D-printer and the printer prints plastic from the base up. So part of this is actually a support that holds the wearable in place while it’s being printed. And the rest of it is the actual wearable. You need to really peel it off the printer and then carefully remove all of the support plastic from the model. It can be quite fiddly task. And you have to be careful because you can actually break the wearable itself.
Once we had something printed, we were calling and talking about it while Gray was beautifully modelling the print as we realised, you know, “this bit it’s too far out” or “this bit is too small” and then it’s iterating. So making adjustments to the digital version, sending it to the printer and waiting for it to print. Very carefully peeling off the printer. Removing the support material. And again testing the fit. Now we did this a lot of times because it’s just really hard to find that right fit after a lot of iterations.
Gray has managed to take it from this to this fits really well. And while this is just a plastic model with no electronics in it, once I have one for the other ear, I think we’re ready to go out into the real world and see how people react to me wearing them. I’m excited, but mostly kinda nervous.