If you have ever spent countless hours searching for the perfect pair of sunglasses, you can totally relate to the plight of other customers like you. Finding a pair that fits just right, lightweight and fashionable can be both frustrating and overwhelming as an experience. It is almost like shopping for jeans that must fit you perfectly. Finding the perfect frame to compliment your style, suit your face shape and are of great quality is something that one does not get right in the first try. We have all been in a position where we have had to sort of carry around a pair of ill-fitting glasses and could do nothing about it.
Hence when one hears the news of super lightweight, custom designed, and well fitted sports goggles; it indeed does become very hard to resist. Thankfully, this has been achieved through rapid prototyping! In the eyewear field, custom made frames and sunglasses seem to be one of the top priorities as quite a few eyewear brands and startups are stepping into manufacturing of client-tailored eyeglass frames. The potential of this sector will be of huge demand as the unmatched customization of rapid prototyping becomes more commonplace and the better option. Skelmet, a sports eye gear startup based in Massachusetts has started to 3D print sunglasses that are fit for users of a proactive lifestyle. These sunglasses are custom fit to just fit the client’s style, face shape and are perfect for sports personalities.
These custom made, exclusive eyeglasses are known as Skelmet Falcon 1. In Indiegogo’s crowdfunding campaign these glasses are being featured and marketed as the lightest and most well fitted sports eye gear in the world. One might ask as to how the company is making these bespoke sunglasses that fit so well. The answer to this question is rapid prototyping, 3D printing and scanning technologies that have ample room for customization of products. This unique property of 3D printing has been put to good use by Skelmet and the customers are excited to try it out.
The company has patented what they call the 3D Fit technology, and by employing this they are taking scans of the faces of their clients. This developed technique involves 3D scanning of the face to create sportswear glasses that are customized and based exactly on the taken scans. To be more specific, the customers who want to avail a pair of Skelmet Falcon glasses are to download the mobile application of Skelmet, take assistance of a friend to scan their face in 3D or they can visit one of the 3D scanning partners’ shop for the scanning procedure mentioned.
After the facial features have been captured through ingenious 3D scanning technology, it is then time to send it to the in-house software of Skelmet called the 3D fit. Eighty six key points of the customer’s face are analyzed here in order to generate the sunglasses that fit like second skin. According to Skelmet, the technology of 3D fit derives from their extensively kept database that the company has compiled. This database houses more than three thousand five hundred scans of different people’s faces and heads.
In order to produce the customized frames, the 3D printer that Skelmet uses is the EOS P110. The rapid prototyping device works by fusing nylon plastic powder layer after layer in order to create the sunglass structure. It is by dint of this printer ink that Skelmet can boast of incredibly lightweight spectacle frames weighing just about seventeen grams a piece. Hence, these glasses are unmatched for comfort and a practical option for intense physical activity. According to Skelmet, these glasses are around thirty percent lighter compared to other brands. A notable example is the Flak Jacket sunglasses by Oakley.
However, the catch remains that the actual lenses of the sunglasses are not made with rapid prototyping or 3D printing. In order to get these lenses made, Skelmet has teamed up with lens makers from Wisconsin. This partner firm is the supplier of the custom high definition UV resistant lenses called the UV400. In order to further improve the quality of the eyewear, these lenses also happen to be scratch resistant, water repellent and have anti-fogging properties for which separate layers are added on top. The amazing feature of these spectacles is that the customers have the final say regarding the style. For now, three different colors are offered for the frames which are sapphire black, alpine white and graphite black. Various lenses can also be chosen from keeping in mind either the functionality or the aesthetics. For example, the pink mirror lenses are best suited for skiing, driving or road cycling while the grey lenses are great for all kinds of sports.
Initially though, Skelmet only happens to have a single design for the frames- the Falcon 1. The startup however, maintains that their clients are going to see more styles released very soon. Also, due to the color options and the custom fitting, no two pairs of these sports eyewear are ever going to be the same. If one wants to become one of the early bird backers of the Indiegogo campaign for these glasses, they can avail a pair of these unique glasses for a price of $299. One can also avail the prescription lenses for $399 and the photochromic lenses for $439. The prices do seem to be a bit on the higher end; however for a pair of sunglasses that are the best fit ever via rapid prototyping service, one might just get a great value for money out of the deals.
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