Hi, I'm Morgan,
I'm 1/2 of Vector Finesse and the designer of the head(amame).
Vector Finesse has done a lot of posting around Reddit about the head(amame), but I'd like delve into WHY I wanted to design the head(amame).
I started working on a 3D printable headphones design in December 2019, and they probably wouldn't be ready for another year if I wasn't stuck in my apartment due to COVID. I've been happy so far with the reception, and wanted to talk a bit more about the reasons I chose to pursue this design. Three of the biggest reasons can be found below:
When the Nintendo Switch Lite came out I bought one on launch day and instead of playing it, I decided to spend the weekend designing a nice set of grips for it and sharing them on Reddit. I wanted to understand how many people would buy a well designed item online so that they could print it themselves later. As it turns out quite a few people were into that!
After seeing the success of the grips I wanted to design something that would apply to everyone who owned a 3D Printer, not just printer owners who also owned a Nintendo Switch. Quite a few printer owners also have a pair of ears.
Having mass appeal really helped push this product through to the final stages. It feels nice today when I can show a friend this thing that I printed myself, and they go "Wow these sound really good!". Other people will get to share that feeling when their build is completed too.
Hi-Fi shouldn't equal Hi-Cost
Anyone who hasn't had the pleasure of listening to their favourite song on a great pair of headphones is missing out on one of the best sensations that exists. I am lucky to live near a few great audio stores and have gotten to enjoy this sensation (albeit not at a price point I was willing to spend).
You see, audio is one of those interests that has a very steep price to performance curve. Spending a little more gets you more performance, but with diminishing returns. At the highest end, things can turn into a runaway of over-the-top marketing claims and build quality absurdity.
My goal with the head(amame) is to lower the bar for people to get into the mid-high end of headphones, and 3D Printing provides us with a unique opportunity to do that.
When you order from Amazon or go to a store and pick up a set of headphones, you are paying for a lot more than just a set of headphones.
The price of those headphones is the sum of many costs:
- Raw materials
- Production & facilities
- Manufacturer Profit
- Dealer Profit
If you can run a 3D printer, and have a good design then we can remove the bolded costs, and greatly reduce the italicized ones.
The goal here was to get the R&D part sorted, so when you buy a set of files and print them at home, the only part left is to get your hands on some parts, and assemble your headphones.
3D printing gives us unique ability to produce useful stuff inside our house. If someone designs that stuff well enough and shows you how to build them, you have the power to avoid the store and create your stuff at home. Another benefit of 3D printing is the ability to customize colours, etc. incredibly easily to truly make stuff that is your own.
We want people to have fun.
Lots of people and institutions have a 3D printer collecting dust because they printed a few models, said "Huh, that's neat", and didn't see any more use for their printer.
People should have a reason to build things, and have a hand in creating the products they consume... Chances are you will be less likely to throw something out that you can repair when it breaks, or alter the appearance when you get bored of it. That's something that benefits everyone.
Above are the main reasons I chose to design the head(amame) and why Vector Finesse will continue to come up with other products you can print and/or build yourself. I think we can bring great value to the maker community, design even better products, and spread some fun while doing so.
I hope that you will stick around to see what's yet to come from Vector Finesse.