Feb 1, 2018 | By Tess

Flemish metal 3D printing company Esma and Dutch company Special Platings have announced they will be partnering with the goal of manufacturing customized titanium glasses frames using 3D printing technologies. The companies, which are being supported through a 135,000 euro subsidy, say they plan to offer the 3D printing service to opticians once it is developed and finalized.

Within the eyewear industry, there has been an undeniable trend towards using 3D printing technologies to make personalized frames for glasses and sunglasses. From startups, to professional designers, to established eyewear brands, it seems almost everyone has acknowledged the benefits that additive manufacturing could have for making glasses.

Typically though, 3D printed frames tend to be manufactured using polymer-based materials (mostly using SLA or DLP printing processes), so when we heard that Esma and Special Platings were going to be making customized metal glasses, our interest was piqued.

While the project is still in its early development phase, the two companies say they plan to combine their expertise in metal 3D printing and metal coating to create a system for producing customized eyewear made from extremely durable titanium.

Sample part 3D printed by Belgium-based Esma

Like most personalized eyewear, Esma and Special Platings plan to use 3D scanning technology to capture a digital 3D model of the customer’s head. Having this model will allow them to design and generate frames that fit the wearer’s face perfectly in terms of spacing.

In terms of style, the companies say that it will be possible for the client to give their own input into what type of frames they want, though I imagine there will be some type of catalogue to choose from.

According to Maasmechelen-based Esma, it will take some time before the 3D printed eyewear technology is commercially ready, but when it is, the companies plan to offer it as a service to opticians. The ultimate goal is to provide customers with perfectly fitted and extremely durable titanium frames.

Esma currently has two metal 3D printers in operation at its facility

As mentioned, the 3D printed glasses project is being supported by a 135,000 euro subsidy from CrossRoads2, an initiative aimed at bolstering business relations between SME companies in Flanders and the south of the Netherlands.

Esma, which has been in the machining business for over three decades, has been working with additive manufacturing since as early as 2013. Currently, the company owns and operates two metal 3D printing systems, which will presumably be used for the production of customized glasses in the near future.

Who knows, perhaps the companies will partner with another local company, Luxexcel, to commission 3D printed lenses for their 3D printed frames. We’ll have to wait and see.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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Leoneywear wrote at 5/17/2018 5:12:51 PM:

Hello, Do you have the contact or the references of this 3D printing company Esma ?

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