Many 3D printing hobbyists are looking to 3D print glasses, be those for commercial or personal use, and it brings up a lot of questions about how to do it. That’s why I wrote this article, to teach people how to 3D print glasses.
To 3D print glasses, you’ll need to gather your materials and then choose a model from Thingiverse and customize it or design your own. After that, you’ll need to prepare and print the model, which is usually done with PETG. Then you’ll need to post-process it so you’re able to insert the lens and use it without any problems.
This is just the basic answer, keep reading for more information about how to 3D print glasses.
How to 3D Print Glasses
These are the main steps to 3D printing glasses:
- Gather your materials
- Choose and customize your model
- Prepare and print the model
- Post-process it and insert lens
1. Gather Your Materials
The first step in order to 3D print glasses is to gather your materials, which are:
- 3D printer
- 3D printing filament
- Computer with 3D modeling software
- Eyeglass lenses (prescription or non-prescription)
Users recommend 3D printing glasses with PETG because it is the material that feels nicer when wearing it.
One user stated that it took him a lot of tries but he eventually learned how to 3D print glasses and now only uses them.
Check out the video below to learn more about why 3D printed glasses are eco-friendly.
2. Choose and Customize Your Model
The next step is to choose and customize your model.
You can choose a model that is already available on platforms such as Thingiverse or design your own model on Fusion 360 or Blender, but that requires skill in design.
One user recommends putting your lenses underneath a normal scanner and importing the image as a reference helps when making your own glasses model on Fusion 360.
These are some popular glasses models available for free on Thingiverse:
Many 3D models are customizable, allowing you to adjust the size, shape, and color to fit your preferences.
You can use 3D modeling software like Blender, Tinkercad, or Fusion 360 to make modifications.
One user stated that if you have the CAD skills and the patience then the best option is to design your own glasses model, otherwise, try to use something close to the right shape and deform it later.
Check out the video below to see a 3D printing hobbyist printing some glasses.
3. Prepare and Print the Model
After choosing and customizing your model, it’s time to prepare and print it.
Before you start printing, ensure your 3D printer is calibrated and clean. Load the selected 3D model file into your slicing software, such as Cura or PrusaSlicer.
Adjust print settings, including layer height, infill, and supports, to match your 3D printer’s capabilities.
Start by placing the chosen model on your build plate, ensuring it’s oriented correctly for the best results.
Set a layer height of around 0.2mm to 0.3mm for a balance between print quality and speed and aim for an infill percentage between 20-30% to provide structural integrity without overusing material.
Adjust the printing temperature, and print speed, and ensure your 3D printer is well-calibrated. These settings will help you achieve accurate and visually appealing glasses frames.
Depending on the model you decided to 3D print, supports may be needed.
To print your glasses just:
- Load your 3D printer with the chosen filament.
- Start the printing process and monitor progress.
- Once printing is complete, carefully remove the frames from the printer bed.
Users recommend printing the glasses flat on the bed to achieve the best end results possible.
One user stated that if you plan on 3D printing glasses in resin then you must coat them before wearing them for extended periods of time as it may cause allergic reactions.
Check out the video below to see some cool 3D printed sunglasses.
4. Post-Process It and Insert Lens
The last steps are post-processing the model and inserting the lens.
Your frames may require some post-processing to achieve a smooth finish:
- Use sandpaper to remove any rough edges.
- Paint or apply a finish for a polished look.
In case you need to purchase some sandpaper, Amazon has the HSYMQ 24PCS Sand Paper Variety Pack Sandpaper for a great price and good reviews.
Depending on your design, you may need to insert lenses. You can purchase prescription or non-prescription lenses from an eyewear store. Here’s how to do it:
- Place the lenses into the frame’s lens grooves
- Secure the lenses in place with tiny screws
- Adjust the fit as needed
Inspect your 3D printed glasses for any imperfections or loose parts. Make any necessary adjustments and ensure they fit comfortably on your face.
One user suggests using a heat gun to slightly adjust the frames and to give it the final touch.
Another user also recommends adding curves by slightly heating and bending it. He recommends using a food dryer for that.
Take a look at the 3D printed glasses this hobbyist made.
Check out the video below for detailed instructions on how to make 3D printed eyeglasses from scratch.