Additive Manufacturing Strategies

M3D’s New 3D Printed “Air’rings” Are Both Functional and Stylish

ST Medical Devices

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airringsI have pierced ears, like so many people do. I don’t wear earrings much anymore, but when I wore them every day, I had a lot to choose from. Earrings shaped like little cats, pearl earrings, (fake) diamond earrings, dangly earrings, stud earrings in every color under the sun. However, I never had earrings that looked like cute, tiny basketball hoops, but with this functional, creative design by M3D, I can!

Meet the “Air’rings.” M3D came up with the design after seeing the varied response to the recent release of the completely wireless Apple AirPods. The futuristic-looking AirPods were getting some mixed reviews, as they don’t look especially secure in one’s ears. One pair of AirPods costs $159, so they’re not very replaceable if they randomly fall out of your ears and onto a busy street, or the sidewalk, or a urinal

apple-airpodsM3D put their heads together to come up with a DIY solution so no one would have to worry about losing their AirPods, by creating a pair of unique 3D printed AirPod-catching earrings. The “Air’rings” (or “Twisty Earbud Catching Earrings,” as they were first dubbed) combine style and functionality, so that if your AirPods do slip out of your ears, they’ll fall neatly into place in the safe baskets of the “Air’rings.”

wearing-airrings“The basketball design was the perfect geometric shape for optimal catching capability, and the color scheme exuded our branding and logo design. But since we’ve uploaded the file to Thingiverse for public consumption, users can customize, resize and alter coloration any way they’d like. That’s the beauty of 3D printing. You can put your own spin on a file design and print it to look however you like,” CEO and co-founder of M3D Michael Armani told 3DPrint.com.

The print was made using OpenSCAD, and then printed on the Micro using the printer’s proprietary software. The logic behind M3D’s distinctive and tongue-in-cheek design was to make the earrings compact and easy to wear, stylish and customizable, and with a structural look that was also functional enough to actually catching a falling earbud; we were assured that they had tested it themselves plenty of times!

The “Air’rings” were printed with M3D’s Onyx Black and Sky Blue 3D Inks. Their spools work with any FDM printer and each contain 250 feet, or approximately 1/2 lb, of plastic. If you are printing the earrings one at a time on the Micro, it takes about one hour per earring. From M3D’s initial idea, to their first pair of finished earrings, the entire process was less than a week. microblack

This is certainly not the first time we’ve talked about 3D printed jewelry (remember these 3D printed sound wave rings and the jewelry that was 3D printed from paper?). It’s also not the first time it’s played a part in sprucing up an Apple product. But I love the fact that these earrings are not only really cool-looking, they also offer a solution to a very real problem. Sign me up for a pair! Discuss in the Air’rings forum at 3DPB.com.

 

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