There is hardly an area of modern life that remains untouched by 3D printing technology. From the creation of prosthetics to musical instruments to furnishings, the technology has given more people than ever the ability to take their ideas and give them physical form. One particular area to benefit from both the democratization of production and the possibilities present for customization has been the fashion industry. In the same spirit as micro-brewed beer with a bespoke attitude, Finnish company Kokosom is taking advantage of what 3D printing has to offer and using it to create custom fit eyeglasses.
The Finnish company was founded by three friends who combined their varied backgrounds (two from business, one from visual arts) to launch a line of 3D printed glasses frames. They currently offer six frame designs, each of which can be further customized by varying the size, color, and details of the glasses. Combine that with the comfort that comes from having them custom fitted to your face and you’ve got a pair of glasses that practically sell themselves.
On the off chance that they won’t sell themselves, however, the company is planning to launch an online store this fall to bring their products to customers across the EU. Co-founder and Creative Director Pekka Salokannel described what they will be bringing to the market:
“Official launch will happen later this fall and we will be delivering to EU at this point. We are starting with 6 frame designs that can all be personalized by our customers. Once decided on the frame design, customer can choose the color and size of her frames as well as a temple design from 3 options. Personalization enables over 200 different possible kinds of frames. We are looking to include our customers more and more into the design process going forward.”
The frames themselves are contemporary takes on classic shapes and are designed in Rhino and then printed in nylon, making them both lightweight and comparatively light on your budget.
“In terms of pricing, we like to keep things simple and transparent, and the price tag in the end depends on the lens customer chooses for her frames. We currently offer 2 lens types – a solid good basic lens and a slightly more expensive option with extra features. More lens options will be added early on. Glasses with the more affordable lens option are currently priced around €200 and with the second lens option around €300,” Salokannel said.
Currently, the glasses are created after a live-fitting session which occurs at a pop-up shop. As they prepare for the launch of their online store, the Kokosom team is working to address the unique challenges they face in using such a method of delivering bespoke eyeglasses.
“In terms of customization, fitting and measuring – as you probably know, there are several more or less temporary solutions used in online stores selling eyewear currently, and we are keeping and 3D-scanning is definitely something we keep an eye on and look into as a technology that would allow us to get exact measures from our customers,” Salokannel explained. “Our goal for the coming years is to build an online eyewear shopping and fitting experience that is as good as, if not better, than live fitting. 3D scanning will likely play a big role in this plan.”
As such, they have begun a financing round that will enable them to create the shopping experience that they are looking for and one that could likely cause a significant shift in the way that customers order custom fitted items. While not available just yet, you can keep up with both their progress towards the launch and the development of the fitting technology through their Facebook page.
Let us know if you’ll be keeping your eyes out for the full launch at the Kokosom 3D Printed Eyeglasses forum thread over at 3DPB.com.