Customising products provides greater value to customers and differentiates brands. Advances in 3D printing technology and materials are enabling mass customisation – profitably and at scale. With LuxCreo 3D printing solution enhanced with LuxCreo Smart Factory production service, BRAGi is delivering custom and higher quality 3D printed eyewear in a range of colours, while decreasing unit cost and gaining production process efficiency by over 60%.
Challenges with SLS 3D Printing
Improperly fitting eyewear is uncomfortable, painful, and can distort vision. BRAGI digitalised the production process – scanning a person’s face and 3D printing frames – to provide eyewear that better fits a person’s face. However, custom frames made with SLS 3D printers and nylon powder required significant post-processing and had inconsistent colour from the dyeing process. The frames were prone to warp and fracture and there were high manufacturing costs.
Directly 3D Print Coloured Resin and Minimal Post-Processing with Lux Printers
With the Lux industrial printers from LuxCreo, BRAGi is 3D printing custom eyewear frames in a variety of colours with intricate designs, higher performance materials, and minimal post-processing. The new process with the LuxCreo printers and material is over 60% more efficient, according to BRAGi.
LuxCreo developed a tough resin, TM79, that has superior performance than other 3D printable materials, such as nylon, and comes in multiple colours. Combined with LuxCreo’s high-precision industrial-grade Lux Series 3D printers, directly printing TM79 coloured resin to produce products that have consistent “micron-level” accuracy, high-quality surface finish, and digitally-defined-texturing is easier and streamlined. Continuous printing in the Lux printers also enables layerless fabrication achieving isotropic and strong mechanical properties.
After 3D printing the coloured frames with Lux, BRAGi easily removes the support structures and buffs the final product, making them ready for lens installation.
Delivering on Mass Customisation with LuxCreo Smart Factory 3D Printing Services
The eyewear industry requires production that supports rapid customisation as well as easily scaling from low to high volumes. With the introduction of the LuxCreo Smart Factory, BRAGi can print locally or remotely at the LuxCreo Smart Factory – producing the exact same product with the same materials and properties.
During design, prototyping, or even low volume manufacturing, products are printed locally with the onsite 3D printer. Once designs are finalised or to meet greater volume demand, companies can access a smart factory for instant manufacturing scalability. “LuxCreo 3D printing solutions are transforming single purpose manufacturing sites into smart factories – versatile, digital production centres that are more easily accessible,” says Michael Strohecker, Chief Revenue Officer, LuxCreo. “Our BRAGi partnership highlights our unique approach to having a Smart Factory as an extension of a company’s manufacturing capacity and supports our mission to drive mass adoption of additive manufacturing for final part production.”
With short turnaround times, 3D printing is also reducing inventory pressure and providing greater manufacturing agility. It took less than one month for BRAGi to design, test, and launch the new eyewear collection. As more of the manufacturing process is digitalised, it is increasingly easier to design and produce new products or make changes.
LuxCreo’s Smart Factory 3D printing services are accelerating innovation across many industries, including innovative consumer brands like BRAGi. Continuing to build out an intelligent manufacturing ecosystem with partners around the world, LuxCreo is making it easier for companies to support customisation and meet large scale manufacturing demand.
Download the BRAGi case study to learn more.