Tessa’s Weekly Picks – 3D printed Sunglasses


Tessa Blokland  


I can hardly wait for my summer holidays to start. To get and to stay in a summer mood, most of the weekly picks in the month of July will be dedicated to summer-related 3D printed picks. A relaxing summer starts with a good pair of sunglasses. And I have found some really nice examples!

Japanese architect Kengo Kuma designed 3D printed sunglasses for eyewear brand Vava. The sunglasses are made from Indian castor beans. The model on the picture is wearing the 3D printed black CL0015 glasses, with a woven-like constructed bridge and frame, which could only be achieved with 3D printing.

The Hatch Frame sunglasses from Dutch designer Michiel Cornelissen features 3D printed latticework, making these sunglasses lightweight. The hinges are printed directly, so there is no assembly required for the legs. These ‘smart hinges’ fix themselves in position when the glasses are opened.

Having worked as an optician for many years, Swiss industrial designer Adrian Gögl knew how poorly most eyeglasses distributed weight on the nose and that this lead to glasses slipping down and leaving painful pressure marks on the wearer’s bridge. The concept of his 3D printing project for the Oak & Dust sunglasses is that the shape of the bridge component is milled out from a negative scan of a customer’s nose. This part can be placed in the 3D printed frame without any need for glue and easily changed if necessary. Gögl’s goal with this project is ‘to design a serious and useful concept that enables us to use 3D printers directly at the point of sale in optical stores. The focus of my project was not how exactly the form of spectacle frames should be but rather how these frames can be designed, manufactured, and sold in the near future,’ as he mentioned on the website.

Another eyewear brand that had launched a service that takes 3D scans of customers’ faces to produce fitting 3D printed frames is London-based eyewear brand Kite. The brand teamed up with Benjamin Hubert, founder of design agency Layer, to develop and design KiteONE. The concept behind these customizable sunglasses is that after scanning your face, the digital glasses are printed locally and that they fit you perfectly.

The last example of sunglasses is the 3D printed Umoyo pair, which comes from the Berlin-based eyewear brand Reframd (also see the top image with a pair of 3D printed Moni (left) and Umoyo). Reframd is founded by Ackeem Ngwenya and Shariff Vreugd. According to their website, Reframd began with a personal frustration of not finding fitting glasses and avoiding wearing any because of how they sat on our noses. It turns out that most off-the-shelf or ready-to-order glasses are designed around “Caucasian” nasal features, i.e., narrow and high nasal bridges. Consequently, people with low and wide nose bridges (primarily black people and people of East Asian descent) wear ill-fitting products. The basic concept driving the brand is that each of us has a unique facial “landscape”, which deserves care and customization without an exorbitant price tag. Thanks to 3d printing and the right algorithms, Ngwenya and Vreugd want to create more inclusive products, ‘creating eyewear to fit people and not the other way around‘, as the founders told Dezeen.

LEO Lane_Weekly Pick_3D Printed Sunglasses

Each of Tessa’s weekly picks is a curated group of 3D printed designs, based on the week’s chosen theme. If you would like to offer a theme for Tessa, or if you have your 3D printed weekly picks you would like to see featured, please let us know by commenting below. Subscribe to the newsletter to get the latest weekly picks every week in your mailbox.

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