People wearing sunglasses on a cloudy day: in London’s neighborhoods Shoreditch or Dalston this certainly is as normal as going to sleep at night. The same goes up for New York’s hipster area Williamsburg or Amsterdam’s De Negen Straatjes. Tiga even managed to top it up with his 2002 hit single Sunglasses at Night, which was a cover from Corey Hart in 1983. So let’s get one thing straight: sunglasses are not at all about protecting your eyes against the sun. No, since 1983 they are all about the looks. If we look at sunglasses from that perspective, then it becomes more and more important to be able to buy the sunglasses you really feel confident with. 3D printing can fulfill a useful role in this process.
Today we received a mail from a company called CAS Design, which is a party that sells sunglasses which you can design by yourself. A printer will print out the glasses and – right – you get the general idea. The sunglasses viewed on their Facebook page do not at all apply to my personal taste, as I’m more into Ray ban-ish or John lennon-ish glasses, but my preferences are not really what this is about. This is about the technical development: just like jewelry you are now able to 3D print your own, personalized sunglasses.
Another company called Soda Concepts (image above) seems to be doing the exact same thing: printing your self-designed sunglasses layer-by-layer in the color you like and with the shapes you like. No, this development is not at all shocking, given the fact sunglasses are easy-to-print and currently a lot of things can get 3D printed: from houses to lipsticks. Nevertheless, this is an interesting development: will fashion one day stop to exist because everyone prints out their own clothes, glasses and jewelry? Probably not, but 3D printers do democratize the market a little more.