For his newest undertaking, Ken Pillonel — the modder finest identified for creating an iPhone with a USB-C port — is making an attempt to enhance the design of the charging case of Apple’s AirPods Professional. The true wi-fi earbuds have been criticized by right-to-repair advocates for a development that depends closely on glue, which makes it troublesome to exchange parts with out breaking the case.
“I’m taking up a big undertaking to reveal how probably the most widespread devices right this moment — Apple’s AirPods Professional — might have been simply made repairable with minimal effort,” Pillonel says in a press launch. “My major goal is to encourage shoppers to be extra conscious of their decisions and to inspire producers to prioritize sustainability.”
Along with his undertaking, Pillonel tried to recreate every part of the AirPods Professional charging case earlier than modifying them to be held along with nuts and screws quite than glue. The modifications make it simpler to get contained in the charging case with out breaking it with a purpose to swap out the battery — no soldering required.
A render of Pillonel’s design. Picture: Ken Pillonel
The undertaking focuses on the charging case of the AirPods Professional; Pillonel isn’t able to make the earbuds themselves repairable simply but. “The earbuds themselves are smaller, and it’s a lot more durable for me to copy their design with the instruments I’ve proper now,” the engineer tells The Verge. However Pillonel is hopeful that he would possibly sooner or later be capable of make comparable modifications to the earbuds in a future undertaking and believes that comparable design ideas could be utilized to them.
Whereas the quantity of glue current within the modded case is lowered in comparison with Apple’s unique design, Pillonel admits that he nonetheless makes use of a bit to carry some magnets in place. However “when you nonetheless need to substitute them for some cause, I take advantage of cyanoacrylate glue that may simply be eliminated by soaking it with acetone, in contrast to Apple’s inexperienced glue which appears like concrete,” he says.
This modification additionally solely applies to the first-generation AirPods Professional. Pillonel says he hasn’t but been in a position to open the charging case of the second-generation earbuds with out breaking it.
As along with his earlier initiatives, Pillonel is making his schematics obtainable for anybody who needs to try the undertaking themselves. Directions for the right way to entry the information could be discovered on the finish of his video, although bear in mind you’ll have to enroll in a ProtonMail account if you wish to entry them totally free. Pillonel can be distributing his undertaking information by way of his Patreon.