How ClearVision Optical Utilizes 3D Printing
You’ve probably heard the phrase “3D printing” tossed around in recent years as the technological process continues to grow in popularity. But what is 3D printing? 3D printing is a process of making three-dimensional solid objects from a digital file. These 3D-printed objects are created by layering material until an entire object is created. A variety of fields – from architecture, to aerospace and defense, to medical, to entertainment – are utilizing 3D printing to modernize their processes.
The eyewear industry has also jumped on the 3D-printing bandwagon. ClearVision Optical, among other eyewear manufacturing companies, began using 3D printing in its design and prototyping processes in 2013. Since then, the company has fully embraced this rapidly evolving technology and expanded its 3D printing capabilities, with the help of a program called Solidworks. 3D printing now plays a pivotal role in ClearVision’s overall design and production philosophy, and has significantly improved efficiency.
Additionally, the technology has saved the company substantial time and money. 3D printing has allowed the company to reduce the frame development process by four months, allowing it to assess the elements of its frame ideas in-house before ordering them. It also helps in the communication process with manufacturers – they simply use the files ClearVision sends them for frame production. Here’s a brief overview – provided by Rachel Rodriguez, writer and e-marketing specialist at ClearVision – of how the company has utilized 3D printing to create some of its most well-loved frames:
- IZOD: The IZOD Interchangeable collection includes a unique, patent-pending interlocking system, which allows users to change out their temples with a simple click. This system was engineered with 3D printing. The use of the technology streamlined the design process and considerably reduced development time, allowing ClearVision to perfect the design in a matter of days.
- Dilli Dalli: The Dilli Dalli IntelliFlex Soft Touch collection was also designed using 3D printing. This not only reduced sample development time, but allowed the product designers to quickly and efficiently address necessary modifications based on feedback received from pediatric eye care professionals with whom they consulted to determine critical features paramount to the design structure and fit. Also, the ClearVision team collaborated with 3D printing company FormLabs, using their Tough Resin for the Dilli Dalli Soft Touch prototypes, as it mimics that of the proprietary Soft Touch material. This resin allowed the team to better demonstrate the frames flexibility, as well as the functionality of the hinge, nose pads and bridge.
- Aspire: The entire Aspire collection was designed using 3D technology prior to prototype creation, significantly reducing sample development time. It helped the designers assess shape, style, fit and functionality in-house, allowing them to approve frames before they received samples from the manufacturer. 3D printing was also used to design the Aspire cases, which enabled them to assess their design, ergonomics, functionality and appeal before ordering them.
- BCBGMAXAZRIA: Several new styles from BCBGMAXAZRIA offer unique 3D-printed temples, providing depth, richness and endless color possibilities. The 3D-printing technique achieves the look of exotic animal leather like python and lizard, inspired by BCBGMAXAZRIA leather goods, without affecting the environment or harming animals. This multi-layering technique creates a bi-laminate material with enhanced texture that emulates the real thing.
For more information about ClearVision and its initiatives, visit CVOptical.com. As we follow 3D printing’s footprint on the eyewear industry, further posts regarding how frame companies are utilizing the technology will be published in the future.