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Virto B-Titanium: Phonak's First 3D Print Titanium Custom Hearing Aid


Swiss company Phonak is a wireless communications solutions and hearing aid provider, owned by hearing aid manufacturer Sonova. The company has turned to EnvisionTEC's 3D printing capabilities to subvert the entire hearing aid industry. Recently, Phonak and Sonova announced the launch of a new custom hearing aid: Virto B-Titanium, which manufactures 3D printing and titanium.

Phonak has been fully aware of the advantages of 3D printing technology. Virto hearing aid shell is made of titanium metal, which greatly reduces the size of the shell, because the titanium shell thinner than the acrylic shell. It is understood that this compact device is also Phonak's first use of solid but lightweight titanium made of custom equipment.

Phonak_Virto_B-Titanium_pair.jpgVirto B-Titanium is actually the smallest custom hearing aid produced by Phonak due to the reduced size of the housing. Compared to the previous Virto series of products, its embedded electronic components reduced by 60%, the overall size reduced by 26%. This means that Virto B-Titanium is the ideal choice for smaller wearer of the ear canal.

This small size also makes Virto B-Titanium welcome by the wearer of the first use of hearing aids. Although the size is reduced, Virto B-Titanium is more breathable and the patient is more comfortable to wear. At present it is only one style - black panel, silver shell, but there are M, P and SP three kinds of handset to choose from.

Let's take a look at how this custom hearing aid is made. Phonak will use laser technology to scan the wearer's ear canal of the silicone impression to the computer, and then its other digital processing. The complete file for the hearing aid shell structure is stored in a central database and is then printed on a 3D printer that is sent to the Sonova production site. Every year, Sonova will print thousands of hearing aids, each of which is tailor-made for the wearer.

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