Earbud holder

by sneakypoo, published

Earbud holder by sneakypoo Dec 1, 2012

Featured Thing!


Yet another earbud holder. Not like we have enough of those here on Thingiverse, right? Well, I wanted something a bit different from the designs already available. Specifically I wanted the whole thing to be somewhat enclosed and able to take a beating. I think I've reached those goals.
As a bonus it has a very satisfying clack sound when you close it up ;)

Recent Comments

view all
Rotate the outer pieces and print them on their side so that the grain runs along the outer parts instead of across, this should stop it from breaking when assembling.
I've tried to print this twice, but every time I go to put it together the two outer peices snap. Any suggestions?
Outstanding build file. One of the best builds that I have made. Excellent fit and finish.

More from Audio

view more

Liked By

view all


Give a Shout Out

If you print this Thing and display it in public proudly give attribution by printing and displaying this tag. Print Thing Tag


UPDATE 2012-12-18: Just a random tip. I've seen that those of you who have been nice enough to post pictures of your prints (Please keep doing that, it makes me happy :) ) are wrapping your cables all the way from bud to plug. What I do is fold the cord in half so that the plug and buds are next to each other. Stuff the buds and plug into the cavity and then wrap up the cord. That will save you time.
UPDATE 2012-12-05: A few people reported issues with the STLs that prevented them from being properly sliced in slic3r. I have uploaded repaired STLs that should work better. Please use the STLs that end with "_repaired". I'll keep the old files around for a while just in case these new ones present other issues. Sorry about the troubles this may have caused.
The core can be printed without support without issues. If you have trouble getting it to stick to the bed try printing it upside down, the overhang will be a bit worse but will probably print ok with good cooling.
The shells however needs a bit of support for the nubs, rough/medium support in KISSlicer worked well for me, took under a minute to clean up. Either print individually or use the plate to print both at once.
To assemble simply force the shells over the core until they snap into place. Print the shells fairly solid so that they don't break on assembly. To minimize the risk of breaking do not pull at the protruding tabs, instead grab it like shown in the picture with the green arrow.
This copy was printed on an Ultimaker for those curious.

I've tried to print this twice, but every time I go to put it together the two outer peices snap. Any suggestions?

Jan 23, 2015 - Modified Jan 23, 2015
BryanMasters - in reply to tyle

Rotate the outer pieces and print them on their side so that the grain runs along the outer parts instead of across, this should stop it from breaking when assembling.

Outstanding build file. One of the best builds that I have made. Excellent fit and finish.

The supports were easy to get out and it looks awesome.

How do you get the middle bit out? :)

What middle bit?

I'm new to this, so please bear with me. In my print - of the core - the hollow area has a kind of honeycomb print in it. Is that not right? It could be somethnig I've messed up in the print settings. Sounds like it might be, from your response :)

Sounds like you have support enabled. That shouldn't be needed for this print so disable that and you should be good to go. If you're having trouble with bed adhesion you can also try flipping the part upside down.

I have support type set to 'Touching buildplate', but that's only supposed offer support where it touches the build platform. I also have fill density set to 20%.

Yup, that's support. Just disable that option and you'll be alright :)

Thank you so much for your help :) It's much appreciated.

I'm using these with the newer earbuds and they are working well. Its a tight fit, but works great.

This doesn't quite fit the newer Apple EarPods. A little upscaling should solve the issue.

<p>Is this compatible with the old apple ear buds? Thanks.</p>

<p>Do you mind sharing your source (solidworks) files? That would make it easier to make derivatives!<br>Thanks!</p>

<p>Great design. I printed it at 0.1mm layer without any supports but I modified slightly the hinge pins to do that. <br>Also I added 4 anchors of my own design to each part to secure to the build plate and prevent them being knocked over by the extruder.<br>Unfortunately my earbuds turned out to be too big to fit, so I'll be printing a slightly modified one with bigger space for the buds but a shorter stem to keep the same overall size.</p>

<p>After about 3 tries I got the core to work... Just flipped it in Makerware and I was all set... It was a bugger getting it off the build platform.</p>

<p>I've made them, but shell broke on the assembly... I'm thinking, maybe it would be better for shells to print horizontally, so minimizing chance of breaking?</p>

<p>Beautiful design. I love mine. It's a bit tricky to get the iphone earbuds into it, though</p>

<p>What program did you use to create this?</p>

<p>I used SolidWorks.</p>

<p>It's the top of the shells. My bet is the hinge elements need support. Ah well... sure looks like a cool thing.</p>

<p>You don't have to guess... it's right there in the instructions that you need support for those. This is a very basic print job, you shouldn't be having problems with it unless your printer is performing poorly. You might also want to have a look at the derivatives.</p>

<p>I cannot get the covers to print. The top parts are just too thin. Any suggestions on settings???</p>

<p>They are 2mm thick, that's not that thin, I've printed plenty of stuff thinner than that. Sorry, can't help you.</p>

<p>please post infill, layer height and # of slices. I've tried 3 times and each time FAIL! layers too thin!</p>

<p>What exactly is failing? I printed at 0.16 layers, infill... no idea, can't remember. And number of slices varies depending on what height you print at...</p>

<p>A LOT of people have printed this without issues so I'd say it's a problem on your end.</p>

<p>love it... printed it and works super well. it would be neat to hide a 3.5mm jack somehow. maybe a different winding technique?</p>

<p>Beautiful design. Would be nice to have the design files in addition to the STL files. I see we have a couple of derivatives already.<br>I printed mine in ABS on an UP! printer. Printed well, but the neck of the core is fragile on mine. Seems like adding a bit more material at the bottom of the bud holder would make it stronger without any negative effects. At least for me, the bud holder is plenty big.</p>


<p>Printed out great. But I forgot to re-read the assembly instructions and I broke the tabs off! Oh well, Krazy-Glue works good.</p>

<p>Once again, best earbud holder on the 'verse!! I have a small suggestion, add some texture on the shells to help grip it. Mine printed of perfectly!!</p>

<p>Thanks :) I was actually going to put texture on the shells but I forgot about it. Once I had printed it I found that I naturally grabbed it with my thumbs pressed against the bottom and my pointies on top and then ripped it open. That worked so well for me that I just skipped any texture.</p>

<p>I made a derivative for the shell , not easely broken when snapped on here : http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:38292&lt;/p&gt;

<p>I borrow the idea from the other derivative http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:38039 for the in built support</p>

<p>the original one whas a bit fragile event in the pocket the ear with the nubs wasn't strong enough so there was 2 choice : increase the size of the wall or make it with the U shape. I dit the second option with enough room for the shell to open</p>

<p>Hope you like it</p>

not easy broken earholder shell
by jfpion
Earbud shell with support

<p>Works nicely, thanks! I printed this using support for the nubs, and it feels very sturdy with PLA. No problems snapping on to and removing from the core model from sneakypoo!</p>

<p>Would it be possible to print one with a key chain loop?</p>

<p>Works incredibly well.  Only issue is when people at work saw it, I wound up with an entire weekend worth of printing making other people copies!  </p>

<p>I have failed to print the shells in ABS... keep snapping off the build plate once they start making the pins, but I'm sure that's my own lack of experience more than anything else.</p>

<p>Awesome Thing!</p>

<p>I really like this design a lot. I tried to print one but when the core was nearly done, my extruder knocked the part off the build platform and created a stringy mess. There just isn't a whole lot of surface area there for it to hang on with. I'm going to try again though, this time maybe with a slower speed or some other method to keep it stuck to the platform more solidly.</p>

<p>If you have issues printing the core you can try like I did to flip it upside down, gives more surface to stick and the overhang angle is the same on both side so it wont change much. Also, if printing on blue tape try airspray, its the PLA equivalent to acetone/abs mix for abs printing.</p>

<p>FYI: FOR EVERYONE PRINTING THIS do not try to bend the shells by the tabs to fit it in the core, you will break it. (happened to me) Instead grab the sides on their entire lenght and bend very very slowly and not a half mm more than you need.</p>

<p>Very good points, I'll add that to the instructions.</p>

<p>I guess I'm spoiled by my Ultimaker hehe. If you're using regular "blue tape" on your platform you can try wiping it down with alcohol, that gets rid of any oils from your hands or waxy residues, this helps the model stick.</p>

<p>Also make sure your platform is perfectly level and that your z-endstop is adjusted correctly so that the platform sits at exactly the right height on startup. You can also try manually raising the platform slightly as the print begins to really smash the plastic into the platform, dirty but it could help.</p>

<p>Lastly, maybe try adding a brim to the print if your slicer gives you that option?</p>

<p>Looks like the files are not 'manifold' or a bit broke.  I ran it through NetFabb free and cleaned it up and had no problem.  Im using Slic3r in Repetier, which once sliced, had no holes and elongated nubs. :)  Just a heads up for others that may have some strange behavior from their slicers.<br></p>

<p>Sorry to hear that. I just tried to slice the parts again in the slicers I have installed: KISSlicer, Netfabb Studio Basic and cura (modified skeinforge). cura flashed a few errors for the core but sliced it without issue. All slicers showed no problems in the gcode visualisation at all. Netfabb usually screams at you as soon as you load the model if there's an issue, it didn't for these.</p>

<p>You're also the first to report a problem of the 200+ people that have downloaded the files so maybe something got corrupted in the download? Or maybe it's slic3r that is having some issues? I do remember hearing some people have a few issues with that slicer on some models.</p>

<p>NetFabb doesn't spit out any warnings when you load the models, but Slic3r does.  I ran through the paces in NetFabb (Open, Default Repair, and Save STL...) and then sliced without issue.  Ill post a resulting GCode visual for reference.  Awesome model regardless! :) Just thought i would mention the struggles.<br></p>

<p>Well that sucks. I'll go through the same procedure on all models and post them alongside the old ones. If you or someone else could then test them to make sure they're alright I'll dump the old files.</p>

<p> fyi Slic3r 0.9.7 also gave me manifold error, on the core only</p>

<p>That is an awesome ear bud holder. Good job. You could sell those.</p>

<p>If I knew how to make money off it I would love to. Especially considering how I just lost my job...</p>

<p>I tried something similar to that at first but it didn't work out, the shells slipped off too easily. You don't really have to bend them too extremely to get them on there, I think you'll be allright :)</p>

<p>Redesign it a little to be able to injection mold all three pieces from a single straight-pull mold and quote it from http://protomold.com.  I would guesstimate around $3k for tooling + $1-2 per piece for resin.  Set up a Kickstarter or Indiegogo project for $10k and offer it as a $10 reward, get 1000 people to donate and BOOM, you're in business.  Get the word out and you should be able to hit that target easily.  Even if you don't, you'll only be out your time.</p>

<p> Thanks guys (sola_technical and thecrazy), really appreciate the advice here. Both Shapeways and Kickstarter sound like interesting ideas.</p>

<p>Not sure how I would create a "single pull mold"-compliant model but I guess I could always learn :) I'd have to take a look at the math on the money though, $10 sounds awful cheap with a guestimated 9k in tooling and parts alone. Not much left when all is said and done.</p>

<p>I was probably a bit unclear - you should be able to combine all 3 parts into a single mold  for $3k, so 1000 units would run about 5k total.  Even if you wanted to do separate molds (for contrasting colors or just to not have to clip apart the pieces), you still only need 2 molds since the outer shells could be identical if they aren't already.  So maybe $5k for tooling if you go that route. <br>Certainly, get some solid quotes and run the numbers, but IMO there is a lot of potential upside here, and this is the kind of project that the maker community really gets behind.<br>What software did you design in?  Most 3D CAD packages have mold design tools.</p>

<p>Ah, gotcha. Yes that sounds a bit more reasonable. Dual colour wouldn't be a requirement for a first run I guess but I do like the contrast of it.</p>

<p>The shells aren't identical here for no other reason than me being stupid, they can become identical very easily though, I'll just have to add an indent to both sides instead of just one...</p>

<p>I used Solidworks for this one and I'm just now looking into the theory of mold making. Started reading a PDF about it which was 250+ pages long. Looks like I have a lot to learn.</p>

<p>You could also submit it to Quirky. They could help you get a patent, and you'd have the benefit of their branding selling.</p>

<p>Thanks for the suggestion, I'll think about it for sure. I also have another thing that I recently created but haven't put up here because I think it actually might sell. That might be a good candidate to put on quirky first, to test the waters so to speak.</p>

<p>You should start and Etsy account<br>And im not sure about this one but check shapeways, I think if you submit an item on their site you get some royalties everytime they sell one... can someone confirm this?</p>

<p>BTW I had issues printing the core. I have a well calibrated Mendel Prism (similar to a mendel max in performance) the bottom part prints perfectly but when it starts printing the overhang (were it gets larger to fit the earbuds) it gets realy ugly, and I have a fan... not sure what to do about this.</p>

<p>Best ear bud holder on the 'verse!!</p>

<p>Incredibly nice print! what size hot end?<br></p>

<p>It was printed with a 0.4mm nozzle at 0.16mm layer height on an Ultimaker.</p>

<p>Wow you're kidding! Did you do any post processing, like sanding, or acetone?<br></p>

<p>No, that's straight out of the printer except for snapping off the interior support on the shells. </p>

<p>Now that's an earbud holder I would like to make! Thanks for sharing m8!</p>

<p> Make sure to post pics if you do ;) Seeing pics of other peoples copies is very rewarding.</p>

<p>very cool, reminds me of the "Butterfly Knife".</p>

<p>Good stuff, I love seeing movement in a design or interactivity.</p>

<p>Thanks. And yeah that thought struck me as well hehe. I'm afraid it's a bit too lightweight and a wee bit too limited in motion to be able to do any trick with it though ;)</p>

<p>Nice design. </p>