Unique Project Brings Transparent Design to AirPods Pro Charging Case

Hardware prototyping consultant Ken Pillonel has created a transparent AirPods Pro charging case with a repairable design using 3D printing technology and transparent SLA resin, as part of his ongoing efforts to highlight repairability and sustainability issues in modern consumer electronics.

airpods pro clear 2 2
The project began with Pillonel downloading 3D files and employing transparent SLA resin to create the AirPods Pro case. Using a Formlabs Form 3+ printer, Pillonel printed the parts, cleaned them with IPA, and carefully dried them using compressed air. He then cured the parts and undertook a labor-intensive phase of sanding carried out in sequence using 400, 600, 800, and 1000 grit sandpaper, with the parts regularly dipped in tap water to aid in cleanliness and progress assessment.

The process continued with a cleansing in new IPA and drying with hot air to prevent mineral residue deposits from water. To finalize the aesthetic, Pillonel applied a clear spray varnish to the parts. The spray transformed the parts from opaque to entirely clear, achieving the desired transparent look.

The transparent design also taps into a nostalgic aesthetic, reminiscent of transparent gadgets from the past. Beyond the visual appeal, the project represents Pillonel's continued effort to highlight repairability issues in contemporary consumer electronics and encourage a move towards more sustainable design practices. By using screws and nuts instead of adhesive and a USB-C port, Pillonel's ‌AirPods Pro‌ case can easily be taken apart and repaired.

Apple recently introduced a transparent variant of the Beats Studio Buds +, while Nothing's transparent Buds (1) and (2) have sought to compete with AirPods, indicating something of a revival of interest in transparent electronics.

Top Rated Comments

vertsix Avatar
9 months ago
>spend hours making it transparent
>yellows in a year due to TPU
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
erikkfi Avatar
9 months ago

He then cured the parts and undertook a labor-intensive phase of sanding carried out in sequence using 400, 600, 800, and 1000 grit sandpaper, with the parts regularly dipped in tap water to aid in cleanliness and progress assessment.
Your microplastics are very impressive; you must be very proud.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
verniesgarden Avatar
9 months ago

Awesome design. Would be nice to have this option officially by Apple.
even better would be the G3 iMac colors
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Lcgiv Avatar
9 months ago
I miss my see through N64 controllers and game boy in the very 90s purplish color
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Eldaerenth Faexidor Avatar
9 months ago
The European Union ‘right to repair laws’ are gaining momentum. Apple will be forced to make their products last longer by letting consumers replace their own battery from their homes. It’s long overdue.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Apple Fan 2008 Avatar
9 months ago
It looks cool, but I'd be scared that it would yellow.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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