You Mawo, a producer of customised 3D printed eyewear and a customer of leading 3D printing technology company EOS teamed up with Fraunhofer EMI to analyse the environmental impact of producing eyewear using this technology.
While the benefits of 3D printed glasses for users were evident - 30% lighter, the personalised frames provided more wearing comfort, were more durable and were reportedly more stable - both EOS and You Mawo sought to establish whether there were any sustainability advantages in using additive manufacturing technology to produce these products.
“The products adapt to the end consumer, not the other way around as with traditional frames,” Sebastian Zenetti, Managing Director and Head of Sales at You Mawo.
But are they more sustainable as well?
According to Björn Hannappel, Head of Sustainability at EOS, additive manufacturing ‘allows us to build like nature does - layer by layer - and in doing so additive manufacturing is sustainable by design’. The company was eager to conduct a study to establish just how well the technology performed when measured against conventional production methods. “For the study, we were looking for an independent institute. The Fraunhofer Institute is very credible…has lots of experience, which is why we approached them,” explained Hannappel. “Fraunhofer EMI was immediately enthusiastic and said yes.”