3D printing has definitely entered the eyewear market; we’ve seen the technique hitting the spectacles market before when it was used by companies such as CAS Design and Soda Concept to create better sunglasses. The benefits of this way of producing spectacles is that it enables users to buy personalized glasses. New in the game is Adrian Gögl, a Swiss industrial designer who recently started his Oak and Dust 3D printed eyewear.
He noticed some problems in the way most glasses are currently being made. If you can’t tailor spectacles to someone’s exact measurements, there will always be the possibility that the size won’t fit perfectly. What happens next is that there is a higher chance that the glasses will slide down the nose. He therefore used 3D printing and one of the main materials he used for the spectacles was cork.
‘So why of all materials would you choose cork?’, seems like a reasonable question. Well, the answer is quite simple: it’s easy to adjust the shape of cork. After creating a digital 3D scan of the customer’s nose, the cork – which was used for the spectacles’s bridge – got bent. He then got the rest of the frame 3D printed and added light glasses to create personalized spectacles. And his 3D printing adventure didn’t stop after he created his glasses, as he printed the cases as well.
In The Netherlands, one of the companies to be on the forefront of 3D printed spectacles is LuXeXcel. The company often makes the news and when Dutch news program Omroep Zeeland asked director Richard van de Vrie if he thinks everyone will be printing their own spectacles in about 20 years, he answered: “that’s the idea.” Bad news for opticians, probably. But what are the benefits of this optical revolution? Dutch new program EenVandaag asked Van de Vrie about the future of 3D printing opticals. “You’ll discover more components in all kinds of printed products, which means products become cheaper, they will be added to the market faster, and there will be more customer-specific products.” He added: “you could let a 3D scanner drive through Africa with a printer and print out glasses for all the people over there.”
Credits images: Adrian Gögl.