Decoding Design

Make Eyewear puts you in the designer's seat

Make Eyewear puts you in the designer's seat

Posting in Design

Make Eyewear is Maker Faire meets Etsy: An online shop for consumers who want unique -- or even bespoke -- glasses with a DIY, techy edge.

We've heard about 3D printing for cars, buildings and chocolate ... but spectacles? Yep.

While he was a student of industrial design, David Minich learned his way around 3D printing as part of his coursework at the University of Applied Arts Vienna. Later, while shopping for a pair of eyeglasses, he found the available designs uninspired and this, reports Fast Company, served as the inspiration for his startup eyeglass company, Make Eyewear.

So he's taken some time off his studies to chase this idea, he tells Smart Planet.

The web-based company, which launched this week, offers eight different frame styles, which range from Lady-Gaga-esque orbs to more studious and trendy options. Shoppers can pick a black, red, green, blue, purple, red or orange frame, select size (S,M,L) and then either a non-perspecription lens or a prescription lens. All the ordering is done online.

The printing is done by Shapeways, a 3D printing -- or, as it's often called, rapid prototyping -- service. The base material is nylon, but an extra coating is deposited to block out moisture.

Consumers can also go the totally bespoke route by presenting their very own design. A sketch is all it takes to get the process going, from there, you're paired with a industrial designer to perfect the plans and submit the files to Shapeways. This option is best for those who are very confident with their ideas, however, as the custom frames start at $450 and aren't refundable.

The stock frames start at $150 and go up from there, based on the type of lens.

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Mary Catherine O'Connor

Contributing Writer

Mary Catherine O'Connor has written for Outside, Fast Company, Wired.com, Smithsonian.com, Entrepreneur, Earth2Tech.com, Earth Island Journal and The Magazine. She is based in San Francisco. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure