Feb 7, 2016 | By Tess

Whether shopping for sunglasses or prescription eyewear, finding the perfect frames to fit your face can be a tricky task, especially for those who are less at ease in spectacles. Fortunately, German 3D printed eyewear company Framelapp has developed a new 3D scanning technology that is able to design the perfect customized frames to fit your face.

The revolutionary technology, which was presented this January at Opti, the International Trade Show for Optics and Design, in Munich, consists of a 3D scanner that compiles measurements and data from scanning a person’s head and face and from the data creates the perfect shape and size of eyewear for the person in question.

The 3D scanner takes into account such features as nose shape and size, distance between the eyes, and other distinguishing facial features to generate the perfect frames. Once the data has been used to create the glasses, the design is sent to a 3D printer which manufactures the spectacles.

The 3D scanning technology appears to be the next step in what has been a growing trend in 3D printed eyewear. Framelapp itself already manufactures several thousand 3D printed glasses on a yearly basis to supply to opticians. As Hendrik Wieburg of Framelapp expresses, “3D printing is going to revolutionize the industry sooner or later.”

The scanning technology will surely give an extra edge to 3D printed eyewear, as it will truly allow for customization of frames, making perfectly fitted and styled glasses for the wearer, a big advantage especially in appealing to those who wear glasses on a regular basis. “3D printing is no longer treated as something exotic. It’s going to establish itself in the market,” explains Ingo Ruetten of ZVA, Germany’s association of opticians.

While the business of 3D printed eyewear has been taking off primarily in smaller startups and companies, even some of Germany’s biggest glasses producers are starting to see the light. Mister Spex, for instance, one of Germany’s online eyewear retailers, is keeping a close eye on the technology. “We don’t have any glasses made using a 3D printer yet, but we regularly review the technology,” says Dirk Graber, who founded Mister Spex.

Even Germany’s biggest retailer of eyewear, Fielmann, are leaning towards 3D printing for the future, saying that they are keeping tabs on any developments and are considering the technology for designer eyewear and prototypes. For now, however, it is the cost of the 3D printed glasses, which can cost up to $300 to buy, that are keeping the retailers at bay.

3D printed glasses are undoubtedly gaining more popularity both amongst retailers and clients, and now with the added advantage of 3D scanning your face to perfectly match your spectacles to your features, we are sure the technology will really take off. Keep an eye out!



Posted in 3D Scanning



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