Several months ago on one of the forums, someone posted about 3D printed eyeglasses. We have been prediciting that within the next 5 years, that some eyecare professionals and some of the online eyeglass retailers will have 3D printers. In 10 years a vast majority of eyecare professionals will own or should own a 3D printer. Currently and to the best of my knowledge there are about 5 companies that are providing 3D printed eyewear.
As reported 3D printer prices are starting to fall, I just saw one for $400 USD. Not a bad price… and something to think about for the future.
In October of 2011 we first became aware of a company out of Texas called Make Eyewear. The consumer can go online and design their own eyeglasses and they ‘make’ them via a 3D printer. There is a virtual try-on on the site (another trend), 14 shapes to play with including a monocle. As an alternative, you can also freestyle your own.
About the same time Australian based Beehive, launched their 3D printed eyewear on Kickstarter. Again, a template is provided and users can go from there. Here they are demonstrating in an optometrist office.
In October of 2011 Colors of Birch launched to much fanfare. (They also have monocles) What is unusual about them, is they didn’t go for the ‘Retro’ look, instead their offering is more intricate and funky.
In January of this year, Designers Chloe McCormick and Nicholas O’Donnell-Hoare collaborated on a 3D knitted design. Eyewear is made and then you can knit or sew your personal colors.
Protos 3D Printed Eyewear concept started in May of 2010. Right now they have 3 styles ranging in price from $180-190 USD
Shapeways is a 3D printed ordering site. Go to Shapeways site to sign in to upload your own items, or to purchase 3D printed products from the Shapeways shops. It also means that existing users can link their Facebook and Twitter accounts to make it easier to share your designs, or recommend those of others by tweeting about them, or posting them on your Facebook wall.
There is eyewear on Shapeway
Vert Design (Australia) just introduced their first 3D printed eyeglasses. (June of 2011)
Maker Bot x Asher Levine Runway show, the 3D eyewear was the hit of the show.
Here is a custom 3D printed eyeglass to be used in conjunction for a commercial. (Source)
To top it off, We wrote about using solar power to create a 3D printer to make eyeglasses. (talk about free stuff) Called the Sun Cutter Project
The applications are endless, from that patients that wants that frame in a custom color, to online ordering to even special event eyewear. 3D printing is here to stay. As an FYI clothing and shoes have already been launched in 3D prints.
- Blog Sculpteo– information on mass customization and 3d Printing
- Maker Bot– 3d printing specialists who have designed 3D printed eyeglasses on runways
- How the 3D printed glasses are made if you have a 3D printer
- 3D Printer blogs
- How 3D Printing Works
Todays Eyewear of the Future is sponsored by Biosyntrx, because we all need healthy eyes