The modder who gave the iPhone USB-C shows how it fared with AirPods

After teasing custom AirPods swapping Apple’s Lightning port for a USB-C connection, Ken Pillonel, the robotics engineering student behind the USB-C iPhone, has finally released the full video showing his entire process. And the best part is that Pillonel makes its schematics open source, meaning you can achieve such a feat too (given you have a 3D printer).

Pillonel starts by sawing the AirPods case open, essentially breaking it, as they are not designed to be taken apart. He then designs two replacement parts for either side of the case, first by using an FDM 3D printer and then switching to SLA for a smoother result. The pieces he constructs snap into place perfectly in the most satisfying way possible, creating an outer shell that looks like it hasn’t even been touched.

While Pillonel notes that you can replace the AirPods’ battery from here, he takes it a step further by taking out the proprietary Lightning connector for USB-C. After days of research, Pillonel manages to create a custom circuit board that fits into the housing of the AirPods. The end result is a pair of AirPods that you can charge with any old USB-C cable in your house.

Like its open-source USB-C iPhone project, Pillonel has also made the schematics for both the AirPods case and USB-C logic board available for download from GitHub. He also gives away ready-made kits and may even start selling them. You can find more information on his website dedicated to the project.

But if you’re not able to customize your AirPods (or your iPhone), you may not have to wait much longer to get one straight from Apple. The company is said to be making USB-C compatible iPhones and AirPods by 2023 at the earliest. In addition, new legislation in the EU requires Apple to remove Lightning ports on its iPhones by the fall of 2024.

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