At SILMO PARIS, 3D printing service provider Materialise will showcase 3D-printed eyewear made from an innovative translucent material. This addition to the Materialise portfolio enables eyewear manufacturers to combine the design benefits of 3D printing with consumer demand for translucent eyewear collections.
Until now, 3D printing has had a significant limitation: the technology could not replicate the translucent aesthetics associated with acetate frames. But the new translucent material marks a breakthrough. After five years of intensive testing of over fifty different materials, this innovative material offers a compelling alternative that combines translucent properties with the design capabilities of 3D printing.
This innovation promises to redefine the future of eyewear design, offering designers diverse and visually appealing new options.
“The convergence of 3D printing technology with the advent of innovative translucent materials opens up a realm of exhilarating design possibilities for eyewear designers,” said Alireza Parandian, Head of Global Business Strategy, Wearables at Materialise. “In the past decade, 3D printing has introduced a new level of freedom that offers designers unlimited creativity to craft intricate and customized frames. Moving forward, the introduction of translucent materials to the 3D printing palette will bring a new dimension to eyewear aesthetics. These materials, with their ethereal qualities, transform eyeglass frames into works of art, offering a unique interplay of complexity and depth.”
Consumer preferences are shifting from online-only purchases to personalized in-store experiences, supported by digital technologies such as Materialise’s Eyewear Fitting Suite. This platform allows opticians to take detailed scans of the face to create an accurate 3D digital model, allowing them to work with customers to select the perfect custom frames.
Parandian says: “AI and other virtual CX tools are increasingly commonplace online. But not in-store. And that’s still where so many customers are heading to get that one-to-one professional support. However, around 1 in 4 customers who enter a shop looking to purchase new eyewear abandon their search because they are either overwhelmed by choice or can’t find the exact frame to suit their facial features. Our Eyewear Fitting Suite gives customers a better understanding of which frames perfectly match their specific face size, contours, and features and creates a new in-store shopping experience in search of the perfect frame.”
Materialise is at the forefront of a movement that is revolutionizing the eyewear industry by introducing 3D-printed, see-through frames. By combining innovative materials and 3D printing technologies, the company offers new possibilities for design and customization while responding to growing consumer demand for personalized and sustainable products.