Stratasys has enlisted Safilo as a user of its J750 full color, multi-material 3D printer to produce photorealistic frames 60% faster than traditional prototyping methods.

The 3D printing and additive manufacturing solutions company made the announcement that the world’s second-largest producer of eyewear was adopting the method in November 2016.

According to Daniel Tomasin, product sample coordinator at Safilo, the adoption of the Stratasys J750 has transformed the eyewear prototyping process by reducing the time to design and prototype frames from 15 hours, using a CNC machine and manual finishing, to just three hours.

With our Stratasys J750 3D Printer, we can design and output prototypes within a matter of hours,” Tomasin said in a media release. “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 accelerated speed combined with the ability to produce ultra-smooth surfaces and rich color details enables Safilo to quickly produce eye-catching prototypes for a number of brands, from high-end luxury to mass-cool including Safilo’s own brands – Safilo, Carrera and Polaroid – and well known design houses including Dior, Hugo Boss, Max Mara and Jimmy Choo.

Faster response to market trends
According to David Iarossi, Safilo Creative Designer Associate Director for eyewear brands like Carrera, Givenchy and Havaianas, the ability to 3D print prototypes with the same color and texture as the finished product is instrumental in ensuring that the company responds quickly to market trends.

This is the start of a new age for designers,” Iarossi said. “Thanks to the Stratasys J750’s ability to combine a near endless gamut of striking colors with varying levels of transparency, we can produce a number of completely different frames. This allows us to perfect multiple designs early, enabling us to launch the latest fashion eyewear on-time and maintain our competitive edge.”

He added that Stratasys 3D printed frames surpass those produced manually, particularly as they no longer need to worry about the paint fading as the colour is integrated into the 3D printed frame.

Safilo is an example of how the Stratasys J750 3D printing technology is providing value to the company’s customers, according to Giuseppe Cilia, Stratasys’ Italian sales manager.

By combining 360,000 color choices, multiple material properties, and ultra-smooth surface finishes, the J750 produces product-matching prototypes in a single print run,” Cilia said. “That means companies can now bring more innovative products to market much faster. As you can imagine, in many industries including fashion, speed and innovation are key which makes Safilo and Stratasys a perfect match.”

To learn more about how Safilo is enjoying enhanced design creativity, the ability to cost effectively test a large number of eyewear options, and accelerated time to market, click the video below.

For more than 25 years, Stratasys Ltd. (NASDAQ:SSYS) has been a defining force and dominant player in 3D printing and additive manufacturing – shaping the way things are made.

Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota and Rehovot, Israel, the company empowers customers across a broad range of vertical markets by enabling new paradigms for design and manufacturing. The company’s solutions provide customers with unmatched design freedom and manufacturing flexibility – reducing time-to-market and lowering development costs, while improving designs and communications.

Stratasys subsidiaries include MakerBot and Solidscape, and the Stratasys ecosystem includes 3D printers for prototyping and production; a wide range of 3D printing materials; parts on-demand via Stratasys Direct Manufacturing; strategic consulting and professional services; and the Thingiverse and GrabCAD communities with over two million 3D printable files for free designs.

With more than 2,700 employees and 800 granted or pending additive manufacturing patents, Stratasys has received more than 30 technology and leadership awards.

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