As demonstrated by the company’s recent partnership with 3DNA’s designer Simone Fontana, Cooler Master is taking desktop 3D printing mods seriously. That is quite natural, as the PC peripheral manufacturer is an undisputed leader in the “modding” scene and 3D printing can offer an entire new universe of possibilities to PC modders. Has the time really come for a more commercial application of 3D printing mods? Apparently Cooler Master is starting to test this possibility by introducing the possibility of using 3D printing to modify the latest set of its Masterpulse Over-Ear Headest with Bass FX. Unfortunately it is not yet time to get your hopes up for a true commercial implementation of desktop 3D printing for mods. At this time this remains very much a test operation coupled with some light marketing activity. The extend of the modofication you can make through 3D printing is limited to downloading the OBJ file for the external headphone panels. These panels are quite central to the headphones unique audio capabilities: when the panels are removed, sound opens up and the quality of lower frequencies is significantly enhanced. This can be seen, or heard, by the noticeably enriched bass tones. When the panels are on, the MasterPulse will provide you with clear and balanced sound at normal bass levels. That said they are just basic plastic panels. Sure, you can modify the OBJ file in a AD program and make your headphones more unique (which is the base of all modding) but it does not seem, at this time, that you will be able to do a whole lot more with it, nor does a feasible business model emerge from this operation (other than increased visibility for Cooler Master and customization for its customers). Nevertheless, the fact that it will very likely be a long time before you will be able to do any signifiant modding through desktop 3D printing does not mean companies should not start exploring these possibilities now, like Cooler Master is doing. After all, the modders number one talent is out-of-the-box creativity and innovation, so who knows what they may come with, even starting from a simple headphone side panel. Just ask Simone Fontana.
September 7, 2015
February 19, 2017