Colour 3D Printing is en vogue for luxury eyewear makers

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Italian fashion eyewear house, Safilo, owners of brands such as Carrera and Polaroid, and contractors for design houses such as Dior and Hugo Boss have shown off how colour 3D printing has become a much loved necessity within its design workflow.

It’s adoption of the Stratasys J750 multi-material colour 3D printer means that eyewear prototypes combining full colors, textures and transparencies come right off the 3D printer, and with a quick polish are ready for design reviews and client presentations.

Safilo is the world’s second-largest producer of eyewear, and the time to respond to market trends each season is key. The ability to reduce the time to design, prototype and finish up frames from 15 hours using a CNC machine and manual finishing to just three hours is a huge gain for its designers.

The ability to 3D print frames in colour, with accurate colours and patterns means Safilo is making huge timesavings over traditional prototyping methods


Daniel Tomasin, product sample coordinator at Safilo, explains: “With our Stratasys J750 3D Printer, we can design and output prototypes within a matter of hours.

“What’s more, using the 3D printer’s large build tray, we can produce several variations of the frames in the same print job which helps to reduce our product development costs while stimulating more creative development.”

This allows us to perfect multiple designs early, enabling us to launch the latest fashion eyewear on-time and maintain our competitive edge,” added David Iarossi, Safilo creative designer associate director for eyewear brands like Carrera and Givenchy.

“Stratasys 3D printing is fantastic as the frames surpass those produced manually, particularly as we no longer need to worry about the paint fading as the color is integrated into the 3D printed frame.”

Frame designs can be taken directly from 3D CAD and have colour finishes and textures applied using Photoshop’s 3D functions, before being printed, post processed and assembled by hand.

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