LipSync Update: Assembled Prototype

Over the last few weeks, we have shown you 3D printed parts, the joystick, design plans, and the electronics, but one thing we haven’t had a chance to show you is an assembled prototype of the LipSync itself — you’ve seen the parts, but not the whole. Well, here’s a look:

Assembled LipSync Prototype

An assembled LipSync prototype using 3D printed parts and is housing our current set of electronics, mounted via a gooseneck. This version uses a print from July.

Original LipSync

The original LipSync, with a metallic head, meant for a more traditional, mass manufactured distribution model.

The casing, or the head (the black egg shaped thing that holds the electronics), is bigger than our original LipSync design. There are a number of reasons for this.

The first reason is that our LipSync will be 3D printed, meaning that it will be plastic. However, when we had initially designed the prototype six years, we had envisioned a far more traditional distribution model, manufactured, and thus the head on the original version is made of metal. As you can tell, metal is a stronger substance than plastic. So our new 3D printed design needed not only to be bigger, but also thicker.

As well, the threading connecting the front and rear chamber of the head (in the pictures, you can see it’s assembled from two parts) needed to be thicker because the 3D printer has a tough time producing small threading.

The other major reason, though, that the head will be bigger once again comes down to the fact that we wanted a different distribution model — makers will produce it, instead of one big factory. One of the parts that won’t be 3D printed is the circuit board and electronics. But we still want makers to assemble it. That means that the electronics will need to be bigger, as it will be soldered by hobbyists, not machines — with a fine detailed circuit board, that would be nearly impossible to do.

The size, however, is a balancing act. The head still needs to be small enough not to block the field of vision of the user, or become dangerous to the user. But as you can see, we’ve had to make a few changes in pursuit of our goal to make it as accessible as possible.