Hoya launches a "new category of eyewear"

Yuniku offers the world’s first vision-centric, 3D-printed personalised eyewear

17 Oct 2016 by Emily McCormick

Hoya has teamed up with 3D printing company Materialise and eyewear designers Hoet to create a “new category of eyewear.” 

The collaboration was unveiled during Paris tradeshow Silmo last month when Yuniku launched. 

The concept sees completely personalised eyewear designed to ensure the best possible vision correction for the wearer. 

Using a vision-centric approach, the frame is produced using advanced 3D printing technology and is tailored to the individual, made possible through the use of a personalised digital platform and a high-definition scanner. 

“What is unique about Yuniku is that we are designing the frame around the lenses,” professional services manager at Hoya, Andy Sanders, told OT. 

“When you look at the way a lens sits in a frame, there are always some compromises, and because the lens is built to fit the frame, you are putting a lens in a frame that isn’t giving the wearer optimal vision for a person,” Mr Sanders explained. 

“Through Yuniku, we are creating a lens-centric, 3D-printed frame that is designed around the optimum optical parameters for an individual and, therefore, provides the wearer with the best possible vision that is achievable in all the areas they want,” he added.   

Using Yuniku begins with a scan of the wearer to capture facial features, and a short questionnaire to determine their visual needs. Advanced software then uses facial and visual data to determine the ideal position of the lenses in relation to the eyes and shares this with Materialise, which prints a tailor-made frame based around the lenses according to the wearer’s unique facial characteristics. 

The frame models suitable for the user are then displayed to allow them to select their eyewear, while a virtual image of the customer in the selected eyewear is also shown to ensure the user’s complete satisfaction with the end result.

A three-week delivery time is expected for frames.

Open platform

Yuniku launches with 12 frames, designed exclusively by Hoet, that are available in nine different colours and textures, which provides users with over 200 frame options.

However, Yuniku is an open platform for frames, Hoya emphasised, meaning that other frames companies can offer their frames through Yuniku if deemed suitable for 3D printing.

“We are already speaking to some designer frame manufacturers as there is potential to have particular styles of their frames uploaded and available for 3D printing through Yuniku,” Mr Saunders said.

Furthermore, Hoya plans to release new colour and texture options for frames through Yuniku regularly, with three-monthly updates planned.


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