For a young child with quickly growing features and not the sharpest eyes, finding glasses that are comfortable and fit for more than just a couple months can be difficult and replacing the frames often can be burdensome, not to mention expensive. Fortunately for those children and their parents, children’s eyewear brand Dilli Dalli, a subset of global eyewear company ClearVision, has put its eyewear experts on the case as they have been developing a model of children’s glasses that are flexible, safe, and comfortable.
3D printing was an essential part of ClearVision’s research and development stages for the children’s spectacles, as the company utilized Formlabs’ Tough Resin material as well as their SLA 3D printer the Form 1+ to manufacture prototypes for the new Dilli Dalli glasses.
In designing the children’s glasses, many factors had to be taken into account, such as the growing features of the child’s face, a child’s movements and play, and above all safety and comfort. To accommodate these various factors, the Dilli Dalli frame was designed with a wide, built-in nose pad, and features flexible hinge technology that allows the glasses to move and “self-adjust” as the child moves.
3D printing allowed the company’s researchers and designers to quickly and efficiently manufacture prototypes of the children’s glasses, which sped up the overall process of designing, receiving feedback from pediatric eyecare professionals, and adjusting the design accordingly.
Pia Taveras, the Project Engineer says of 3D printing, “The greatest benefit was the time savings we achieved to get to the final prototype sample…We’re ultimately able to produce a finished product much quicker.” Normally, the process of prototyping could take several weeks, as the company would have to wait for their vendors to manufacture and send them a sample of the design, now that the company can create their 3D printed prototypes in-house, however, the process has drastically changed: instead of several weeks, the design adjustments take only hours to make.
As mentioned, ClearVision used Formlabs Tough Resin material in additively manufacturing their eyewear prototypes, which they chose for its various similarities to their own proprietary IntelliFlex Soft Touch material. Because of the similarities between the prototypes’ material and the final product, ClearVision’s researchers were able to effectively demonstrate the product’s flexibility, as well as the beneficial features of its design throughout its development. The Formlabs Tough Resin also reportedly resembled the Soft Touch material of the final product, making it easier for the designers and developers to visualize the final result quite easily.
Thanks to 3D printing technologies, the Dilli Dalli’s new pediatric eyewear collection has been successfully introduced, and parents and children everywhere can rejoice in knowing that their options for comfortable, affordable, and stylish glasses have just grown.