Nov 27, 2015 | By Kira

As a wearer of prescription glasses since I was just twelve years old, I’m sure I’ve spent hours, if not days, of my life in optical shops, trying on frame after frame only to be disappointed with the available options. That might change, however, now that Aoyama Optical France has announced the launch of their first entirely 3D printed eyewear collection, We DDD, which will be made available worldwide as of January 2016.

Since eyewear is often considered a personal product, closely tied to the wearer’s lifestyle, fashion, and medical needs, the personalization, design, and advanced materials of 3D printing offer great benefits. After two year’s of research and development, Aoyama Optical’s 3D printed collection—pronounced ‘We DDD’—represents the company’s dedication to innovative, clean technologies, quality materials, and outstanding design.

The collection currently consists of 14 frames, four for men, four for women, and six unisex models, that target young, urban consumers with distinct fashion sense. Nine colors are available, however the company is already working on bi-color glasses and additional personalization options.

In order to achieve their desired precision and quality, Aoyama France turned to selective laser sintering (SLS) 3D printing technology. “That is how we attained premium quality frames that meet all of today’s standards,” said Philippe Beuscart, President and CEO. “It’s a clean technology, without waste, that’s equally interesting in terms of sustainable development.”

Indeed, since the frames themselves are manufactured locally and on-demand using SLS 3D printing, the company was able to maintain a low impact on the environment while reducing almost 90% of their inventory and speeding up manufacturing times. “It only takes 15 days to create a new frame model, from blank paper to commercialization, compared to six months with traditional processes,” said Beuscart. Once launched, the company said that consumers will be able to select from display frames in-store, choose their color and size, and have their personalized eyeglasses delivered in two weeks.

SLS 3D printing technology also conferred another advantage for the We DDD eyewear collection: each frame is made from a “surprisingly light and comfortable polyamide material that is also extremely durable and able to withstand heat in order to be adjusted. For those of us who wear our glasses for hours on end and bring them with us everywhere, these properties cannot be ignored.

The We DDD 3D printed eyewear collection will be available in the New Year, with prices ranging from €180 to 205 euros per frame. Even if you’re not in need of prescription eyewear, 3D printing is certainly opening up the fashion, material, and performance possibilities within the optical industry.  Recently, we’ve seen Ron Arad’s 3D printed pq eyewear collection, Nasim Sehat’s funky 3D printed Biz Eyes, Seiko and Materialise’s 3D printed sports sunglasses, and even 3D printed optical lenses by Luxexcel and Trinkcle 3D.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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