June 21, 2024
Robotics Engineer Shares 3D Files and PCB Files to Make Your Own USB-C AirPods Case [Video]

Robotics Engineer Shares 3D Files and PCB Files to Make Your Own USB-C AirPods Case [Video]

Posted July 20, 2022 at 3:13pm by iClarified
After creating the world's first USB-C AirPods case, robotics engineer Ken Pillonel has shared the 3D files and PCB files online for users to create their own.

In a video posted to YouTube, Pillonel details how he designed the replacement AirPods case and USB-C component.

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The first and second generations of AirPods made by Apple were given a score of 0 out of 10 by repair specialists at iFixit. AirPods are not designed to be serviced. No hardware components can be accessed without damage to the device, making it a consumable/disposable item. Tens of millions of devices were sold, each one having three sealed-in batteries. This makes it a total electronic waste disaster.

After the success of Ken Pillonel’s previous project, the world’s first USB-C iPhone, he decided to focus on trying to mitigate the AirPods disaster through an engineering project. The goal was to find a solution that gives a second life to the unopenable cases, which all face an inevitable end of life because of their built-in battery.


The solution proposed consists of making available a 3D-printed replacement part that can be downloaded by anyone. The AirPods case can therefore be purposefully damaged while disassembly, then repairs can be made inside, and finally, the 3D-printed replacement part is inserted back in place.

Now that it is possible to open the case, repairs are made possible. A replacement battery can be purchased online, but it is the only replacement part available. If a charging port is broken, there is no way to replace it except by getting a replacement part from another device. The second part of the project consists in creating a replacement part for the Lightning charging port. Because it will soon disappear thanks to a recent EU ruling, the replacement part sports a USB-C connector (bouncing off the previous hack made by Ken) and is also made available online as an open-source project. This further increases the impact on the possibility of repairing those devices.
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Take a look at the video below and hit the link to download the files...

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