3D printing, a subject to watch in optics-eyewear!
In recent years, the 3D printing market has evolved tremendously. This process is particularly suited to optics, because it offers many benefits for consumers, including the ability to customize its frames to the extreme. And if this technology was the future of glasses?
Thirty years ago, 3D printing has been a noisy success for almost five years. We review the techniques, the advantages and the actors of the 3D printing market in optical-eyewear.
The principle of 3D printing
The concept is simple and allows all fantasies . First, draw the desired object on a screen. The resulting 3D file is then sent to software, which virtually cuts it into slices. The software has only to send the cut file to the 3D printer, which will print the object following the different slices, by depositing layers of successive materials . It is the "additive manufacturing". This gives a real object in three dimensions.
The process is therefore particularly suited to the optical sector, because it allows to manufacture completely personalized spectacle frames.
The benefits for consumers
Thanks to precise measurements, 3D frames can adapt to face morphology for maximum comfort. Another advantage, not the least, is that 3D printing allows consumers to customize their mount from scratch . There is no longer any limit of form or design: everything is now possible (or almost)!
For glasses brands, it's a real bargain … And as designers can work very quickly and cheaply on all prototypes, it even becomes a marketing weapon in its own right . They would be wrong to deprive themselves, because many consumers are seduced by the innovative and fun side of the process …
They adopted it
Some brands already use 3D printing to offer hyper-personalized eyewear to their customers. One example is Lissac , which has been offering this service since 2014 in all of its stores, after having tested it in one of its Parisian boutiques. Prices start at 520 €. Other brands followed, such as the Dutch startup Boulton Eyewear , or the site Lu-net.fr .
The number of possibilities is infinite! The only limit? The pose of the glasses, which can be complicated according to the shape and the material used to produce the frame …