Two thoughts went through our minds when Apple first showed off its wireless AirPods at September’s iPhone 7 event. The first was, “Wow, those look pretty darned awesome.” The second was, “How long until we lose them?”
It seems the folks at micro 3D-printer company M3D had exactly the same one-two hit of thoughts, because they went out and quickly came up with a workaround. What they have created is a pair of mini-basket earrings, which promise to catch the futuristic earbuds if and when they fall out of your ears.
“We were in our office, joking about what would happen if someone got one of these hooked into their large hoop earrings,” Rob Marietta, head of customer support for M3D, told Digital Trends. “After a while someone said, ‘Well, maybe we should aim for that.’ Based on that comment, we started working on this, with the idea that it could be the perfect stocking stuffer for someone to give an iPhone fan this Christmas.”
Called the Twisty Earbud Catchers, the earrings are not exactly designed to be a super-serious application for 3D printing. However, it is further proof positive about some of the original and ingenious solutions that exist when you give people easy-to-use additive manufacturing tools they can use from the comfort of their own homes.
Don’t worry if you are not up to the challenge of designing something like this yourself, either — as the files needed to print your own version of M3D’s AirPod catching earrings can be downloaded via Thingiverse.
“It’s about rapid reaction,” Marietta continued. “As we’ve gotten better at communication as a species, and can cross ideas across vast distances incredibly quickly, it’s important that we keep up with the production side of things. 3D printing allows for instant realization of ideas. OK, so it’s not quite Star Trek–replicator levels of instant just yet, but it does mean that we can turn around a concept in the same day and make it available to a large number of people. As soon as there’s a need for something, we can fulfill that need. Even if that need is just for AirPod-catching earrings.”