DIY Headphones and some engineering / research problems

So bear with me here. I’m a software engineer with a bit of hardware experience, but next to no woodworking / mech e experience to speak of.

After having some conversations with friends who do woodworking and looking at Darth Beyer mods I’ve gotten interested in attempting to design / make my own earcup for the DT series headphones (or just flat out make my own). CNCs were wayyyyyyy over budget as well as too niche in function. Presses had limited use outside of drilling the inside of the cup. Lathes were sometimes inconsistent due to skill, expensive, and dangerous. Routers seemed pretty reasonable as long as I can make jigs at home, buy the bits I need, and they’re relatively inexpensive and small form factor compared to the previous options.

Has anyone had any experience with constructing earcups? Any tips for someone creating ear cups? Any wood choices that might make a difference in ease of fabrication (was thinking about cherry for my first few attempts)? Does anyone do it using a lathe or cnc machine? Any thoughts on shape?

The solution that seems both the cheapest, most reliable, and most versatile seems to be getting a router with some fancy bits and creating jigs for them to try to get uniformity out of the earcups.

Electronics are ‘easy’. Have done a good bit of soldering / wiring in the past and have no qualms about that. Will be doing the detachable cable mod for my 770s once I get my materials. My only question here is drivers and preferred types of wire for audio. Any input as to driver choice? If no one has anything I’ll either mod my 770s and/or just grab beyer drivers for the 600 Ohm DT series if I go through with it, since I really like the 250 Ohms version.

After looking at a lot of deconstructed headsets (and tearing my own apart) I have a good idea about damping / materials used, so that’s just up to experimentation once the cups are created.

My biggest question is how much do you have to know about acoustics as a science to try to design earcups? Is there anywhere to look for information on this?

Should I just try to contact some DIY headphone modders I’ve found in my research? Does anyone know anyone who could help (would really appreciate any resources you could shoot to me to talk to / look at)?

Edit : I’ve made some furniture and stuff during college, but nothing small enough or detailed enough to compare to making earcups for headphones. I have basic materials (drills, vises, wood, screws on hand or know people who can get them easily). Soldered frequently in my embedded / ee classes in college. $10k for a 5 axis machine, allowes you ALL the functions.

You are not shooting for 10ths milimeters here, so any cheapo used lathe will do. As for lack of skill: Read a few books on it, watch a few videos and climb the learning curve.
This Old Tony Mini Lathe Video
If you want a higher quality one, look for a Proxxon PD 250/E

Not so sure about that. You have all the complexity of a mill without the freedom of a mill.

Two more options:

  • Have you considered going the 3D-printing route?
  • Carbonfibre or Fibreglass molding (super messy and frustrating, do not recommend, also: Wear a heavy filter mask with eye protection!)

As for drivers: Go searching online or rip appart some KP30i’s or so, dunno.