Along with many other industries today, 3D printing has allowed countless different fashion categories to thrive in new ways due to all its intrinsic benefits—and it would be difficult to say which one is most important. Self-sustainability in prototyping and manufacturing is at the top of the list for sure as it allows designers so much latitude, along with a real-time process. Speed and affordability also make 3D printing an exciting technology to work with, along with the ability to create items that may not have been possible before.
Eyewear and associated accessories have expanded over the years to include a wide range of styles for all ages, and 3D printing just allows this to continue further. Designers and manufacturers have embraced the technology, with many different eyewear projects emerging, to include the use of new materials and affordable, customizable frames.
GlassesUSA.com is now announcing not just the launch of their 3D printable glasses, but files and 3D templates that are offered to consumers free, allowing them to make their own frames at home. Frames allow so many of us to make a statement about our style and who we are, and the 3D printable templates will allow wearers to take that one step further from the desktop.
Not only are the styles individualized, but the users can even choose to add text to the frame designs; for instance, they can add their name or phone number to the ‘temples’ – or anything else they might prefer. Customized prescription lenses will be available from GlassesUSA.com too.
“For the past ten years, we have been disrupting the way consumers purchase their glasses and have incorporated new technologies to make better the purchasing experience. The addition of 3D printable frames marks a new milestone in our history, which further puts consumers in complete control of their eyewear needs. We are proud to be leading the way educating consumers about buying glasses online– in this case giving the power back to consumers, furthering our mission to make glasses affordable and accessible to all,” said Daniel Rothman, CEO of GlassesUSA.com.
Choices of templates include the Phoenix, Mermaid, and Dragon. Consumers can choose the best shape for their faces as well, with wayfarer, rectangular, or round options. They can also choose different colors for the frames. The files are .stl and .obj compatible, and after they are 3D printed, the lenses can be ordered.
Once received, there is a helpful instructional video for inserting them into the frames.
The first test models of the glasses were 3D printed by Sinterit on their Lisa desktop SLS 3D printer. They were 3D printed in one piece and practically ready to wear after cleaning away the excess powder from the 3D printer. Sinterit calls 3D printing a “whole new chapter in luxury fashion,” and points out that the technology allows for the creation of eyewear in shapes and styles that aren’t possible with traditional methods. A technology like SLS creates lightweight frames that require very little post-processing. You can see Sinterit’s 3D printing process below:
“My mission is to share my work freely to empower others to create,” says Janne Kyttanen, 3D artist of the project. “The 3D community is always looking for new projects and as so many of us wear glasses. This is a great opportunity for creating and printing something both useful and artistic.”
Kyttanen, for his part, has been behind some of the most significant designs we’ve seen in 3D printing. The digital sculptor and 3D pioneer has previously worked with 3D Systems and 3D Hubs, launched a food tech startup, and made event appearances as both a judge and a design participant.
In celebration of the launch, users designing their own 3D printable frames can enter to win a $300 gift card by uploading their designs to their Instagram accounts with the #GlassesUSA3D tag. The contest closes on Feb. 28, 2018. Janne Kyttanen will select two winners for the contest, and they will be announced on March 1, 2018.
Editor’s Note: This article was updated after information was received from Sinterit regarding their involvement in the project’s development.