A foreseen growth on additive manufacturing in the eyewear industry into an overall $3.4 billion by 2028 is driven by the rapid expansion of final parts production, according to a recent report released by Research and Markets. This revolution in the sector is due to more consumer products exploring the benefits of 3D printing for mass customization, digital mass production, as well as, product personalization.
All currently existing additive manufacturing technologies, materials and services, including 3D capturing and online customization software, could offer a powerful competitive advantage as eyewear users demand increasing customization options. While final part production is a major focus area for the medium and long term, other current uses of additive manufacturing in the eyewear industry is also considered, such as advanced and desktop prototyping, tooling and investment casting.
According to available data, the overall existing industry for ophthalmic eyewear generates revenues of more than $100 billion a year. This industry is growing in several ways with mass customization, an important trend. Users increasingly expect to be able to purchase eyewear products that are tailor made for them.
The 3D printed eyewear sector is expected to be a relatively small part of all 3D printed consumer products, both in terms of materials and hardware demand, due to the relatively small size of the parts being printed. At the same time, it is also one of the very first segments that has already made significant strides toward end-use part production with additive technologies.