Teenage Engineering Says ‘Print Your Own Accessories’! Should More Companies ‘Open Source’ Their Parts?

Teenage Engineering has responded to criticism about the high cost to buy and ship its collection of OP-1 accessories by letting customers ‘print’ their own parts:

We work hard to make our OP-1 users happy with free OS updates and added functionality. But sometimes we fail.

As some have noted, the shipping cost of the OP-1 accessories is very high. This is because we can’t find a good delivery service for small items.

Meanwhile, we have decided to put all CAD files of the parts in our library section for you to download. The files are provided in both STEP and STL format. Just download the files and 3D print as many as you want. Next fail is the OP-1 manual update. We are almost there…we promise it will be ready sometime next week. Thank you all for your patience, we promise to work even harder in the future to make you happy.

-Teenage OP-1 “fail” Team

These accessories are already available for 3D printing at Shapeways, who notes:

This is the first company that I have seen so far that offer replacement parts to be 3D Printed by their consumers.  This is an incredibly smart move as it takes away the need for them to warehouse and distribute replacement parts.  It also means that their fans have an opportunity to modify and customize aspects of their synthesizers.

This is a really interesting idea. I’d love to see manufactures support this for 3D printing of obsolete parts or for ‘hot rodding’ your music gear. It would be great to be able to order inexpensive replacement knobs, for example, for older synths.

If you’ve knowledgeable with CAD apps, you could even tweak the drawings to create custom parts.

What do you think of this idea? Should more companies follow Teenage Engineering’s lead?

31 thoughts on “Teenage Engineering Says ‘Print Your Own Accessories’! Should More Companies ‘Open Source’ Their Parts?

  1. Shipping small parts isn’t expensive. Just use USPS First Class Mail. For a 3-ounce package with delivery confirmation (tracking), it’s $1.64. Wrap the part in some bubble wrap, stick it in a kraft envelope, and print a self-adhesive label.

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    1. TE isn’t a US company, and USPS isn’t sending from Sweden. The pricing on shipping in Scandinavia is quite high compared to the US. You’d probably need to multiply your number by 4 or 5 before you get world-wide shipping for the solution you suggested here.

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    2. Previous reply covers the Sweden scenario. But even within the US, from Shapeways, it will cost ~6-7 bucks to ship, not $1.64. I really hate taking an hour off work or life to drop stuff off at UPS or the USPS, so I don’t mind a reasonable handling charge from a business.

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  2. Rapid Prototyping/3-d printing is the future! i hope to be working on a synthesizer based accessory for a certain recent synth in the near future with which 3-d printing will allow me to make my cad files a reality!

    pretty awesome idea they had here

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  3. I don’t own an OP-1, but this is really a fantastic idea! The simple fact that you don’t need any expensive mold templates for 3d printing means that this technology is also attractive for small production quantities – and therefore it is suitable for consumer use.

    Mark my words: in 5-10 years every bigger city will have something like a 3d printing store. And maybe in 10-20 years most households will have a small personal 3d printer. Might sound like sci-fi right now, but not so many years ago, computers required a whole room – and now they fit in your pocket.

    Of course I can’t say for sure, but I have the feeling that 3d printing will have an important role in the not-so-far future 🙂

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  4. Thanks so much for sharing,

    We are so excited to see a manufacturer release their cad files for parts like this for 3D Printing.
    We see a lot of DIY hacks on Shapeways but it is SO COOL that Teenage Engineering broke through with this first..


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    1. Well sure you can, but you can also just buy them from Shapeways and they’ll print it for you and mail it. Shipping seems to be about $6.50 or so. So for the entire setup, you’re looking at like $25 or so, with shipping.

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  5. I think this is one of the best ideas. Cause you could in theory re edit them. Add say gears on top of the wheel cap and on the crank cap or add a pully on and a gear and use the pully and gears for weird effects. I have to say even though ive never used one of these and couldnt afford one cause of school I like the idea and the whole philosophy as a company.

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  6. “Next fail is the OP-1 manual update.
    We are almost there…we promise it will be ready sometime next week.”

    HaHa – manual – it´s Shit !
    Dont call it manual – it´s a TOILET PAPER MAGAZINE 🙂 NEED A HandBOOOK!

    fail fail fail fail fail fail fail fail fail fail fail fail fail fail fail fail fail fail fail fail fail fail fail fail fail

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