Mar 16, 2017 | By Tess
French optician Optique du Ferrain has joined the ranks of several eyewear shops around the globe that are offering customized 3D printed frames. The Neuville-en-Ferrain-based shop in France has just become the first optician to collaborate with Glass’yourself, a Mouvaux-based 3D printed glasses startup.
The 3D printed frames offer a number of benefits for clients: they are made to order locally in France, they are custom fitted based on measurements of the wearer’s face, and they come in a variety of styles and colors that the wearer can choose. At Optique du Ferrain, the process of ordering the 3D printed frames will go something like this:
First, in-house optician Françoise Théry uses her various measuring tools, such as a ruler, nasimeter, and cephalometer to calculate the exact dimensions of the client’s face. From there, the client can choose from a selection of seven colors (green, brown, red, purple, blue, gray, and black) and twenty different frame styles, which range from conservative to fun. Additionally, the client can opt to have their pair of frames engraved.
The custom order is then sent to a laser sintering 3D printer, where a prototype of the frames is made within five days. Once the prototype is confirmed, the final frames are 3D printed and sent back to the optician for the final lens fitting and installation. After the prototype stage, the client should have their bespoke 3D printed glasses ready within a month.
The frames themselves are 3D printed from PA, a lightweight thermoplastic material (each pair weighs on average 15 grams), and can easily be maintained and fixed, as new parts can be reprinted and are a cinch to install. To make maintenance even easier, each pair of 3D printed frames comes with a traceability card. According to the Glass’yourself website, the parts for the frames take roughly 30 hours to print, and the components are then colored and assembled by hand.
As mentioned, a big part of Glass’yourself’s draw is that its products are fully made in France. That is, not only are the frames 3D printed locally, but the mounts and lenses are sourced from French companies as well. This has allowed the startup to cut back on its environmental impact by reducing transport and by manufacturing on a made-to-order basis.
So far, Optique du Ferrain is the first optician to partner with Glass’yourself, though the startup is looking for more independent opticians to collaborate with. On the Glass'yourself site, the 3D printed frames are listed for about €249.
Posted in 3D Printing Application
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