3D Printing Helps Internet-enabled Wireless Headphone Design Win Award and Recognition
Ignitec uses Stratasys 3D printing technology to develop Audiowings, a luxury, smart headphone that wirelessly connects to user’s online music via mobile networks
Audiowings awarded ‘People’s Award’ in Sir Richard Branson’s annual ‘Pitch to Rich’ competition
Minneapolis & Rehovot, Israel – July 22, 2014 – Stratasys Ltd. (Nasdaq: SSYS), a leading global provider of 3D printing and additive manufacturing solutions, today announced that British product design house, Ignitec, has designed and manufactured a new generation of wireless headphones for technology start-up and luxury goods company Audiowings, using its Stratasys Objet30 Pro 3D Printer.
Named after the company, Audiowings is a luxury audio headphone that synchronizes directly with online music services, such as Spotify, enabling users to listen to their favorite music on-the-go, without the burden of headphone cables. As well as featuring a built-in storage system, the device also connects wirelessly to the Internet using 3/4G or WiFi, giving users the ability to plug into YouTube and enjoy music from around the world.
In a bid to receive funding, the first fully 3D printed Audiowings prototype was entered into Sir Richard Branson’s ‘Pitch to Rich’ 2014 competition. The company has since been awarded the ‘People’s Award’, receiving a prestigious mentoring program from some of the world’s leading business minds. Audiowings is currently finalizing its plans to enter the retail market.
“When we were first approached with the concept of Audiowings and briefed on its prototyping requirements, we instantly knew that 3D printing would be the answer,” explains Ben Mazur, Director of Ignitec. “Our Stratasys Objet30 Pro 3D Printer was the obvious choice since it has the ability to produce products on demand that depict the accuracy and surface quality of injection molding.”
Stratasys’ PolyJet–based 3D printing technology features 16 micron accuracy, producing parts that combine high definition with a smooth surface finish, crucial in the development of high quality prototypes.
“Quality is paramount and is the driving force behind all of our projects,” continues Mazur. “We printed the headphones in a durable rigid opaque grey material (VeroGrey), not only enabling us to perfect the look and feel, but also perform ergonomic testing with the user’s comfortability - always integral to this development.”
Ignitec’s move towards Stratasys’ PolyJet 3D printing technology aimed to increase the precision of its prototype parts, as well as reduce its prototyping costs and development cycle times. Equipped with a Stratasys Objet30 Pro 3D Printer from UK reseller Stanford Marsh Group, the company has since seen a significant reduction in the time required to 3D print and hand-finish its prototypes parts.
“Since introducing Stratasys 3D printing into our work flow, we have cut our finishing time by more than 50% due to the reduction of support material removal required compared to our previous SLA system,” explains Mazur. “We have also seen a surge in client interest due to the fact that we can now produce prototype parts with a short turnaround time, while retaining the highest quality and remaining cost effective. Being able to offer end-use parts prior to manufacturing is something which is very valuable to our clients and takes away a lot of risk and guess work.”
Andy Middleton, Senior Vice President and General Manager EMEA at Stratasys, concludes: “In today’s economy, product designers are under extreme pressure to take innovation and quickly turn it into a money-making product. Ignitec is a great example of how our PolyJet 3D printing technology is empowering these designers to deliver first class prototypes to their clients with the precision and detail of the final product. As such, product development processes are shortening and fantastic products like Audiowings are reaching the market faster than ever before.”
Stratasys Ltd. (Nasdaq:SSYS), headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota and Rehovot, Israel, is a leading global provider of 3D printing and additive manufacturing solutions. The company's patented FDM® and PolyJet™ 3D Printing technologies produce prototypes and manufactured goods directly from 3D CAD files or other 3D content. Systems include 3D printers for idea development, prototyping and direct digital manufacturing. Stratasys subsidiaries include MakerBot and Solidscape, and the company operates the RedEye digital-manufacturing service. Stratasys has more than 1900 employees, holds over 550 granted or pending additive manufacturing patents globally, and has received more than 25 awards for its technology and leadership. Online at: www.stratasys.com or http://blog.stratasys.com
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