How 3D Printing Will Revolutionize Eyewear – Part 1

http://blog.stratasys.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Picture-1-168x79.png 168w" sizes="(max-width: 570px) 100vw, 570px" />When you walk into an eyewear store, chances are it took about 18 months for that eyewear company to develop every single one of those frames you see on the shelves. Now consider that eyewear manufacturers may release up to 150 new frame designs to market every week. Together, the top eyewear manufacturers across the globe will release over 12,000 new designs this year alone, covering sunglasses, reading and prescription glasses to smart glasses, sports-wear and safety-wear.

From 18 Months to 8 Weeks

Imagine the potential paradigm shift then, if you could cut a whopping 15 months from that development & production cycle.

A time-to-market of only eight weeks or less is what Stratasys is talking about as we release our new rapid prototyping solution for eyewear this week at TCT Birmingham. The solution consists of a brand new 3D printing material, VeroFlex™, which is printed on the Stratasys J750 multi-color, multi-material 3D printer.

Unlike anything available on the market today, this full RP solution offers a unique value combination:

Ability to Rapidly Simulate Virtually Any Frame Color and Texture Design:http://blog.stratasys.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/picture-2-138x83.png 138w, http://blog.stratasys.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/picture-2-499x300.png 499w" sizes="(max-width: 562px) 100vw, 562px" />

Check out the amazing range of colors and combinations of colors, opacities, transparencies and textured effects that you can achieve by the various combination of 6 VeroFlex materials in Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, White, Black, and Clear, from wood-grains, to smoked glass, to a world of different geometrical and freeform combinations.

http://blog.stratasys.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Picture-3-125x83.png 125w, http://blog.stratasys.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Picture-3-452x300.png 452w" sizes="(max-width: 765px) 100vw, 765px" />This capability allows eyewear designers to explore new, innovative ideas that in the normal flow of things, would often remain as just ideas. Now they can be brought life, handled, displayed, and approved for development. The design is rejected by the focus group? No problem. Simply tweak and print it again. And again – with each iteration taking just a few hours. Until it’s perfect.

Ability to Functionally Test Frame Prototypes Like the Real Thing:

The VeroFlex material has been specially formulated not only to encapsulate the complexities of eyewear design, but also the functional tests that they need to pass. The material, which comes in 6 colors, provides a carefully calibrated flexibility and durability for eyewear tests, namely:

  • Drop tests
  • Lens mounting
  • Stress tests
  • Wear-ability testing

The Verdict: Delivering Immediate Value for Eyewear Designers and Manufacturershttp://blog.stratasys.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Picture-4-123x83.png 123w" sizes="(max-width: 419px) 100vw, 419px" />

According to Mike Vasquez, Founder and CEO of 3Degrees research company:

“The eyewear market continues to expand, driven by new technologies, demand for customization and growing addressable markets. As the industry seeks to maximize its opportunity, Stratasys’ prototyping solutions for frames and eyewear accessories — which will cut time to market by upwards of 80%– will be an attractive solution that is able to deliver immediate value for users looking to make parts with a high degree of mechanical function and appearance.”

Stay tuned for more in Part 2!

Click here to learn more about the Stratasys eyewear solution or contact us here.

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