A long running project indeed. The concept first emerged four years ago while doodling back in University and later became my thesis project. Then last year I finally decided to bring it to users in the form of a 3D printable product.

With each iteration the design has been refined. The version you see today is the result of dozens of prototypes and adjustments to get it just right.

Some of the 3D printed prototypes that were necessary to get to the final design


The mechanism for folding the Armadillo Headphones has been inspired by nature. The headband is able to bend easily in one way while being rigid in the opposite direction. This allows the headphones to curl up into a small package, similar to how the Armadillo animal does it.

Folded and unfolded headphones

3D printability

A great amount of work has gone into making the headphones suited for 3D printing. The following aspects were especially important:

  • Minimizing required print-bed size
  • Eliminating the need for supports
  • Maximizing durability by having major forces act orthogonally against layer lines

3D printable headband
The resulting design is compatible with the vast majority of 3D printers and materials. The headphones shown in the pictures were manufactured in PLA on a low-end 3D printer (FlashForge Finder), using no supporting structures.

How you get it

The Armadillo Headphones is a DeskGrown product which means the distribution model is pretty unique. To get the product you need to:

  1. Download and 3D-print the model. Parts available for free here: link
  2. Order the kit which includes all the components required, all perfectly fitted to the model.
  3. Assemble the product

For those without access to a 3D printer it is possible to use a service like 3D Hubs. On their website you can use their automated system to find the nearest printer and get a quote, all within a couple of minutes.

Why deskgrown?

The biggest reason for using DeskGrown is the efficiency with which I can get my product into peoples hands. Using the standard manufacturing and distribution processes it would likely take years before people could use the product. Not to mention the necessary upfront investment to get the manufacturing and distribution going.

With DeskGrown there is no delay or upfront cost. I can create a product and make it available for the world to enjoy within a day. More information here: link.