3D Printing May Be The Future Of Optical IndustryIt is no secret that 3D printing comes into use for the manufacturing processes of optical industry. There are many companies using the 3D printers and other equipments for prototyping frame designs. However, there are discussions on the role of 3D technologies and it’s evolvement in manufacturing procedures. According to ClearVision Optical president David Friedfled, this is not a new phenomenon in this industry. He is of the view that in the past two years, the companies have simplified the manufacturing process to a certain level which is affordable for masses. After discovering its technical feasibility and cost effectiveness, their company perceives it as a solution to condense production cycles due to its fast prototyping abilities.

Friedfeld has partnered with Bruce Bradshaw who is the marketing director at Stratasys. The company produces the machines which prototype and produce plastic parts. It is also the present owner of Maker Bot, a 3D printer maker for homely use. ClearVision president said that the company aims to get familiar with 3D printing to reach the next level by the coming six months or one year.

US president Obama referred to the 3D printing technology as a field that could give rise to new jobs in tech field. He also spoke about a partnership by public and private enterprises to research this technology to involve it in use on per day basis. According to Friedfeld, the purpose of their company in this context is to prototype faster to cut down on time and production cost of optical equipment. In short term period, they are basically trying to remake these products as quickly as possible to hand over them to purchasers or licensors.

Bruce Bradshaw of Stratasys is of the view that third dimensional printing is influencing personalization. He said that it has become a possibility to come up with one-offs when it isn’t timely or cost effective to deliver up to 1000 pieces. It has become possible in a short period to print tool or mold, expressed Bradshaw.

Friedfeld expressively visions shortly run productions would enable ClearVision and customers to make the most of something which is possible in United States. It won’t be overseas and will be cost effective being close to the market. It will be no longer expensive and consume a long period of time while in production at optical factory.

Bradshaw stated that 3D printing is revolutionizing the aspects of manufacturing in dental field, consumer electronics and ophthalmology. In the baby days of third dimensional printing, this technology was crude and post finishing was much needed. Presently, the printers can deliver 17 separate materials in various ratios to have different set of affects. This technology is used for printing genuine clear lenses, moving hinges and tinted frame, expressed Bradshaw.

According to Bradshaw, they are excited for it will take one or may be two days to prototype which previously stood at 2 or 4 months whenever achieved in the classical way. After making a front in 30 minutes, they can check the size on a particular face.

Author Bio: Tony Rollan provides consulting services to VSI (http://www.patternless.com) and EMS (http://www.ems-usa.com). He is an author of many articles on all types of optical, ophthalmic equipment and advanced 3D Printing technology.

Image credit: makkielab 

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It is no secret that 3D printing comes into use for the manufacturing processes of optical industry. There are many companies using the 3D printers and other equipments for prototyping frame designs. However, there are discussions on the role of 3D technologies and it's evolvement in manufacturing procedures. According...