3D Printed Hearing Aids – 3D Scanning and Printing for Hearing
An audiologist creates a digital image of the recipient’s ear using a 3D laser scanner. A digital representation of the object’s surface called a “pointcloud” is constructed. Following the completed scan and a subsequent inspection process for any errors, the hearing aid is ready to be fabricated. 3D printers are used to print out the “shell” of the hearing aid using resin as a material. Next, the shell is outfitted with electronics and acoustic vents. This process, which can be completed in under a day, is faster than traditional methods and results in a higher quality product. The micron-level accuracy of the scan and print ensures a better fit for the wearer. More than 10,000,000 3D-printed hearing aids are in circulation today.