Hot Stuff: 3D print your specs

With frames you can print at home and lenses you can order online, glasses are finally entering the 21st century

3D printing my glasses? Sounds complicated

Nope, not really – assuming you own or have access to a 3D printer, it’s actually incredibly simple and has the potential to save you a hefty wedge of cash.

What’s the first step?

Well, first you need to make sure you have an up to date prescription, as you’ll need it to order the correct lenses. So either get thee to a optician or, if you’ve recently been to one, dig out the deets.

More after the break...

OK, got that – now what?

Searching a 3D print database like Thingiverse for “eyewear”, “spectacles” or “glasses” will give you plenty of results for 3D printable frames, lots of which are free. Which is nice. The issue here is that there’s no standards for frame sizes, which means you might struggle to find lenses that fit.

That’s where Eyewear Kit comes in.

Eyewear Kit? Tell me more

They’re a Dutch company that specialises in delivering lenses for 3D printed frames. They supply quality lenses (sourced from top industry suppliers, they say) for sunglasses, reading glasses, proper prescriptions specs and more – they just snap in (and out) of compatible frames. All lenses are come with UV protection and anti-scratch and anti-reflective coatings.

OK – but what do I put them in?

Michiel Cornelissen Wire frames

Eyewear Kit has a list of specifications for designers of 3D frames, so assuming the designers stick to them, there’ll be plenty of options on the usual 3D print template databases like the aforementioned Thingiverse. And a killer feature is that, because the lenses are removable, you can print out several frames and just pop your lenses in and out as required.

If you just can’t wait (or you don’t have a 3D printer), don’t fret. The company has teamed up with Dutch designer Michiel Cornelissen, who has created three frame templates that Shapeways or Sculpteo can print and send to you right away. Hatch, Wire and Pince-Nez can be printed in a variety of materials and colours, and are fully compatible with Eyewear Kit’s lenses.

READ MORE: Meet the Lux – a camera you can print yourself

READ MORE: MakerBot debuts three 3D printers and new apps
 

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