Over the past few years, we’ve seen 3D printing technology reinvigorate fashion from head to toe. This particularly rings true for accessories like eyewear, which have been designed and 3D printed for a number of purposes, from smart glasses that count your calories to high-end luxury glasses. This emerging technology has allowed eyewear to be designed to fit the needs of the wearer, which is especially helpful when it comes to athletics and other outdoor activities.
Last year, SEIKO Optical Europe, Hoet Design Studio, and Materialise collaborated to create the SEIKO Xchanger collection, a 3D printed eyewear product line designed to fit the athletic needs and facial features of the wearer. The 3D printed glasses were first presented at the optics fair Silmo 2015 in Paris, and won the prestigious Silmo d’Or award for excellence in optical innovation in the Sport Equipment Category. Now, one custom pair of SEIKO Xchanger sunglasses have made it to a place not many have dared venture before… The North Pole.
Polar explorer Dixie Dansercoer has led several record-breaking expeditions throughout the Arctic and Antarctic, and knows that eyewear is a critical accessory in the harsh and blistering conditions of these regions. But due to Dansercoer’s high nose bridge, conventional sunglasses left a detrimental gap between his face and the frame of the eyewear. This gap would sometimes cause the outdoor explorer’s eyes to have a burning and itching sensation, which could be a great hinderance to such a treacherous journey.
That’s why the explorer decided to try out the 3D printed Xchanger sports eyewear, which was custom designed to fit his face and environmental needs. Dansercoer has his face scanned in order to create the optimal pair of sunglasses, which he found to be a major improvement over traditional eyewear that never seemed to fit quite right. The outdoor adventurer needed sunglasses that did two primary things, fit his “not-so-normal” face properly and also protect his eyes.
“The manufacturing process of 3D Printing for sunglasses makes it possible to totally mold a pair of sunglasses to my not-so-normal face, I have a high nose bridge, so all my sunglasses were way too high and I could look through the bottom of my normal sunglasses which let in the albedo and the radiation, so there was definitely room for improvement. And with the scan of my face and then adaptations afterwards, we’ve come to a perfect pair of sunglasses,” Dansercoer said.
Though he’s always had issues with traditional athletic eyewear, the 3D printed SEIKO pair provided perfect fit and vision to the polar explorer. Areas like the Arctic and Antarctic generally require gear that is specifically made for those harsh surroundings. Outside of the function they serve, the 3D printed SEIKO eyewear has been praised simply for allowing the wearer to customize and personalize their very own pair of sunglasses. What SEIKO, Hoet Design Studio, and Materialise managed to accomplish with their 3D printed eyewear goes beyond a fashion statement. In fact, thanks to Dansercoer, these sunglasses have gone to a place that very few people have ever been to in their lives. Discuss further over in the 3D Printed Eyewear at the North Pole forum at 3DPB.com.[Source: Materialise]