When it comes to glasses I am super cheap; I pay $50 to get my prescription and then go online and buy $15 glasses. I like my method because I can afford it, but I acknowledge that there are cons to this frugality. For one, it’s not very convenient to try the frames on — a couple sites will mail you the frames that you’re interested in to try them on, but I don’t have the patience for that kind of back and forth. Another issue is the setting of the lenses, which affects clarity; since the placement and shapes of the lenses are related to the frames, the disconnect between the optometrist and the site setting the lenses into the frames allows room for error. I can see with my glasses, but I can tell that the focal point is not appropriately centered (they’re also quite front heavy). If I could take my own cheap frames in to have the lenses set by the person that determined my prescription, then I’d be paying a little more than I currently am but the vision improvement would (likely) be worth it. As Technical Artist of Tinkercad Pekka Salokannel so elegantly demonstrated with his 3D printed glasses at 3D Printshow, that’s very possible.
The glasses were well received at Pekka’s Tinkercad Workshop and they caught the eye of 3Dprinting.com’s Anne-Pieter Strikwerda (see what I did there); he liked them enough to modify Pekka’s design in Tinkercad and have his own glasses printed by i.materialise. He used a website as a guide to measure his eyes, so his frames fit perfectly. There are a few pairs of glasses on Thingiverse, but they’re mostly fun and silly, so it’s nice to see some real glasses being printed.
When this becomes an app (hint hint), you’ll simply take a photo of your face, the program will calculate the relevant dimensions of your eyes, you’ll choose the style of frames you like, add some personal touches, and click print. You’ll even decide the material and color. Designer frames can easily run you $300, or you could design your own that cost a tenth of that to print. Easy call.