Nov.16, 2014 | By Kira

Adrian Goegl is a modern-day visionary—in every sense of the word. Drawing from his personal experiences as an optician, the Switzerland-based industrial designer identified key problems that nearly all eyeglass wearers and their opticians face, and turned to 3D printing to solve them.

Oak & Dust, Goegl's concept-based eyewear line, utilizes parametric design and generative manufacturing to hone-in on three common problems in the optical industry: the majority of eyeglasses distribute their weight unevenly on the nose, causing pressure marks and pain, the materials used often cause glasses to slide off of the wearer's face, and over fifty percent of eyeglass cases are ill-fitted to the frames they come with, leaving your beloved lenses vulnerable to damage.

This is where 3D printing comes in. Using Rhino to create CAD models and a plug-in known as Grasshopper, Goegl designed unique, custom eyeglass frames. These were then 3D printed in polyamide provided by i.materialise's online 3D printing service. Goegl's focus was not on the style of the frames themselves, but rather on showing how opticians can use 3D in their daily work to provide a product completely tailored to their customers' specifications.

The process is both innovative and straightforward: opticians create a digital scan of their customers' nose and use the negative to mill a perfectly fitted bridge out of cork. As a natural and time-tested material, cork is lightweight enough to relieve any pressure and won't slide down the wearer's face. Finally, once a computer model of the frames exists, a completely bespoke case can be 3D printed on the spot. Cork once again proves to be an ideal material, as it is insulted and flexible, and can protect glasses from scratches and accidental impact.

Goegl's revolutionary vision was to see these frames designed using generative manufacturing, and to elevate the practical applications for 3D printers in everyday life. In fact, opticians can mill and print the parts directly at their point of sale in order to provide on-the-spot and entirely customized service. "With this project I wanted to design a serious and useful concept which enables to use 3D-printers direct at the POS in optical stores," explains Goegl. "The basic idea for this concept was to study how products can be designed, manufactured and sold with the influence of evolving generative manufacturing methods." The result is a perfectly fitted, seamlessly crafted pair of glasses and a custom-cut case, which, from design to prototype to completion, could potentially be created in less time than it takes to schedule an eye exam.

By combining his background in industrial design with his insider knowledge of the optical industry, Goegl has created an elegant and innovative product that answers to the needs of both opticians and eyeglass wearers. More importantly, he has proven that 3D printing can revolutionize industries that extend far beyond its current usage. All it takes is a little vision.

milling the case

prototypes before coloring


Posted in 3D Printing Applications


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