An eye for style

From 3D printed frames to luxurious objects of desire, Anna Scott looks at the ascent of bespoke spectacles.

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Evolving technology has made in-store apps accessible, and facial measurements can now be scanned then uploaded to produce a pair of 3D printed spectacles in a matter of hours.

In addition to the ready-made for wear market, there is increasing demand for a more personal, bespoke frame manufacturing service employing traditional handcrafting methods.

Consequently, an optometrists’ role in guiding patients to choose the best/ correct/well-fitting frames for their needs is crucial. The choices available to consumers are vast – not just for frame shape, colour, material, size and cost, but also for frame design (bespoke, customised or ready-made) and methods of manufacture (by hand or by technology). College Historian Neil Handley says: “Interchangeability of components was first introduced in the 1950s, when different coloured trims were supplied so that women could match their (single pair of) spectacles with whatever colour dress they were wearing that day.” 

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