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Video: The Glasses From The Printer
The eyewear manufacturer Safilo is now accelerating its processes with the 3D printer J750 from Stratasys, company for 3D printing and additive manufacturing. With the multi-material and multi-color 3D printer, the Italian company is able to produce photo-realistic glasses frames 60% faster than with conventional prototyping methods.
Faster prototypes encourage creative development
To date, production using a CNC machine plus manual finishing took around 15 hours, according to Daniel Tomasin, Product Sample Coordinator at Safilo. Now this time span could be shortened to 3 hours by using the 3D printer. Due to the high speed of the printer, the smooth surfaces and the colorful details, Safilo can quickly produce prototypes - for both its own brands Safilo, Carrera and Polaroid as well as for luxury brands such as Dior, Hugo Boss, Max Mara or Jimmy Choo.
“With our J750, we can design and produce prototypes within a few hours. In addition, its large build platform allows us to produce several variants of a spectacle frame in the same print job, which enables us to reduce our product development costs and at the same time promote creative development,”explains Tomasin.
Faster reaction to market trends
David Iarossi is creative director at Safilo and responsible for eyewear brands such as Carrera, Givenchy and Havanianas. For him, being able to print prototypes in 3D with the same color and texture as the end product is a crucial factor when it comes to reacting quickly to market trends.
“This is the beginning of a new era for designers. With the ability of the printer to combine a wide range of different colors with various levels of transparency, we are able to create completely different frames. In this way, we can perfect various designs at an early stage in order to bring new models to the market in good time and maintain our competitive advantage,”says Iarossi. “3D printing is fantastic because the frames that are produced in this way outperform the manually manufactured frames. In addition, we no longer have to worry about color fading because the color is built into the 3D printed model.”
New FDM technology enables components of unlimited length to be printed
Giuseppe Cilia, Stratasys' Italian sales manager, explains: “Safilo is a prime example of how 3D printing technology offers our customers added value. By combining 360,000 different colors, a wide variety of material properties and smooth surfaces, the printer produces product-realistic prototypes in a single printing process. “This means that companies can now bring products to market faster. In many industries - and this includes the fashion industry - speed and innovation are an important factor for success. "And that makes Safilo and Stratasys perfect partners in this game," says Cilia. (kj)