Opti 2024: Prints charming

Plenty of sustainable 3D printed options were on show at Opti 2024. Simon Jones reports


There was a time when 3D printing was billed as the future of eyewear. It promised to reduce production waste, reduce the need to for opticians to keep stock design and creative options.

Over a decade since consumer-grade 3D printed frames came to market, all of those changes are true, but frames made using additive manufacturing techniques still only account for a small percentage of the global eyewear industry.

As the popularity of 3D printing has grown, there has been a slew of start-up brands, some of whom debuted at Opti in its ‘boxes’ incubator area, that quickly fell by the wayside as they struggled to break into the market. This has mostly been down to not fully appreciating the design and finishing nuances of eyewear manufacturing, but also because they only offered one material.

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