Safilo, the world’s second-largest producer of eyewear, is using the Stratasys J750 full color, multi-material 3D printer to produce photorealistic frames 60% faster than with traditional prototyping methods.
According to Daniel Tomasin, Product Sample Coordinator at Safilo, the adoption of the Stratasys J750 has transformed the eyewear prototyping process – reducing the time to design and prototype frames from 15 hours using a CNC machine and manual finishing to just three hours. This accelerated speed combined with the ability to produce ultra-smooth surfaces and rich color details enables Safilo to quickly produce eye-catching prototypes for a number of brands, from high-end luxury to mass-cool including Safilo’s own brands – Safilo, Carrera and Polaroid – and well known design houses including Dior, Hugo Boss, Max Mara and Jimmy Choo.
Tomasin explained: “With our Stratasys J750 3D Printer, we can design and output prototypes within a matter of hours. What’s more, using the 3D printer’s large build tray, we can produce several variations of the frames in the same print job which helps to reduce our product development costs while stimulating more creative development.”
Faster response to market trends
According to David Iarossi, Safilo Creative Designer Associate Director for eyewear brands like Carrera, Givenchy and Havaianas, the ability to 3D print prototypes with the same color and texture as the finished product is instrumental in ensuring that the company responds quickly to market trends.
“This is the start of a new age for designers. Thanks to the Stratasys J750’s ability to combine a near endless gamut of striking colors with varying levels of transparency, we can produce a number of completely different frames. This allows us to perfect multiple designs early, enabling us to launch the latest fashion eyewear on-time and maintain our competitive edge,” said Iarossi. “Stratasys 3D printing is fantastic as the frames surpass those produced manually, particularly as we no longer need to worry about the paint fading as the color is integrated into the 3D printed frame.”
Giuseppe Cilia, Stratasys’ Italian Sales Manager concluded: “Safilo is a prime example of how the Stratasys J750 3D printing technology is providing unquestionable value to our customers. By combining 360,000 color choices, multiple material properties, and ultra-smooth surface finishes, the J750 produces product-matching prototypes in a single print run. That means companies can now bring more innovative products to market much faster. As you can imagine, in many industries including fashion, speed and innovation are key which makes Safilo and Stratasys a perfect match.”