Technical Review : SILMO 2015

December 2nd, 2015

by A.Dallaire

A few companies stood out at the 2015 SILMO optical fair thanks to 3D printing, including PQ EYEWEAR and its D-FRAME collection signed by designer Ron Arad.

This range of frames manufactured in a single piece distinguishes itself through its lightweight and elegant silhouette, but especially through its system of flexible arms that resemble a backbone. The glasses are printed with curved arms, giving them a naturally closed position.

The versatility offered by this manufacturing process allows the makers to include a system of slits into the frame’s design. These slits provide the required flexibility for the arms, which unfold easily while applying sufficient pressure on the head. Thus, the hinge is simply replaced by the material’s deformation.

3D printing is not only used to make frames, but also to check the adjustment of made-to-measure frames. MONOGOOL in collaboration with SFERED offers custom frames, also 3D printed, by digitizing the buyer’s face.

The digital file takes into account the face’s main morphological data, which is then used to build a frame that is perfectly adapted to the customer’s face. To ensure the necessary adjustment, a 3D print of the customer’s face can also be made to test the contact points on the nose, the frame’s angle and the adjustment of the arms. The result is a unique frame created from scratch just for you.

Honourable mention goes out to a company that garnered the 1st prize in the SILMO “Frame Technological Innovation” category: SEIKO, with its X Changer glasses. These sports glasses have several particular features worth noting, including their modularized frame design.

Glasses can be personalized in many ways: the choice of colour and size for every part, but also the inclination and dimensions of the front part of the frame for an ideal adjustment. 3D printing using polyamide 12 also offers the opportunity of integrating ventilation holes into the front frame.

A special treatment is also applied to the plastic to help the paint adhere adequately. This ensures improved colour quality and durability, which offers a beautiful finish to this very interesting product.

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