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Bespoke Eyewear Designed by Goegl Showcases the Benefits of 3D Printing
Swiss product designer Adrian Goegl has combined 3D printing and precision CNC machined cork to produce an exquisite range of custom eyewear named ‘Oak & Dust’.
When Goegl worked as an optician, he discovered that glasses wearers suffer some common problems:
- Ill-fitting spectacles slide down the wearers’ face especially when carrying out practical tasks
- Most of the weight of the spectacles frame and glass is transferred to the wearer’s nose
- The majority of glasses are supplied with generic cases that don’t correctly fit and protect the frames
Goegl used his engineering knowledge to design a range of spectacles that would solve these problems and make use of modern manufacturing methods like 3D printing to produce a truly unique design.
Rhinoceros, also known as Rhino3D, was used in conjunction with the Grasshopper plugin to design the glasses. This combination of CAD tools allowed Goegl to input numerical input to create and modify a parametric CAD model.
This parametricity combined with rapid manufacturing techniques will allow known data such as the ergonomic measurements of the wearer’s eyes to be inputted at the design stage.
The full list of parametric measurements that can be tailored to suit the customer are:
- Lens size
- Lens shape
- Nose bridge width
- Temple length
- Nose bridge position
- Nose shape
- Rim thickness
- Arm angle relative to the frame
In comparison to conventional spectacles that have very limited amounts of adjustment possible as they are mass-produced as one size fits all, the Oak & Dust frames can be completely customized at the design stage to the individual wearer.
The project aims to simplify the design and manufacturing to the degree that it can be done at the point of sale within the optometrist’s office.
The customer’s ergonomic data can be measured by hand and with the use of 3D scanning equipment.
3D scanning allows the complex shape of the nose to be exactly replicated. This can then be inverted and machined into a piece of cork wood to create a bespoke nose bridge, the high friction of the cork compared to conventional hard plastics prevents the glasses from slipping.
Cork is the perfect material as it is naturally soft so it won’t indent the wearer’s nose and it is easily machined to complex shapes.
When the frames have been 3D printed in white plastic, they can be dyed in a variety of colors, again chosen by the customer.
Each case is also bespoke to each individual pair of glasses. After all, if the glasses are bespoke the case needs to be too.
To further increase comfort, all the materials used in Goegl’s glasses are lightweight. The frames themselves weight only 18g while the bespoke case weights 45g.
Whether Goegl’s concept is successful or not, it is an excellent showcase of what’s possible when a product and its entire lifecycle is designed around generative manufacturing processes like 3D printing.
I predict a future where manufacturing is far more localized than it currently is, allowing us all to benefit from higher quality bespoke products while also reducing environmental waste and resources.