safilo 3d printing

Eyewear icon Safilo re-invents design, boosts time to market for fashion frames.

aaron pearson
Aaron Pearson March 23, 2020
March 23, 2020
Using its Stratasys J750 3D Printer, Safilo can now quickly iterate designs, allowing it to reduce its turnaround time for product -matching prototypes by 60%

Stratasys full color, multi-material 3D printing (J750 3D Printer) allows Safilo to quickly iterate designs and reduce turnaround time for product-matching prototypes by 60%

Founded in 1878, Safilo was propelled to success and is now the second-largest producer of eyewear in the world. The company is renowned for its stellar craftsmanship and manufactures sunglasses, sports eyewear and frames for prescription lenses for more than 90,000 stores in 130 countries. The company’s impressive portfolio boasts 25 luxury brands, such as Dior, Fendi, Jimmy Choo and Hugo Boss, as well as five of its own brands, including Carrera, Polaroid and Safilo.

Safilo’s exacting standards for style, creativity, functionality and quality demand accurate and true-to-life prototypes throughout the design process. The large number of frames produced by the company also demands efficient and timely throughput during the design process.

Previously, the company produced its concept prototypes with a CNC machine, which the team would use as a template when manually developing the actual prototypes. This resulted in lengthy lead times and, if iterations were required, would also prove costly further down the production line.

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safilo 3d printing

For design and concept verification, with the Stratasys J750 3D Printer Safilo can now quickly iterate eyewear designs, allowing for more creative experimentation, also improving time to market

Perfect for Design and Concept Verification: 3D Printed Prototypes Enable Immediate Decision-making

To overcome the bottlenecks associated with traditional manufacturing, Safilo invested in a Stratasys J750 full color, multi-material 3D Printer, which, as well as streamlining the prototyping workflow, also brought with it the opportunity to achieve greater prototype realism than previous methods allowed. Utilizing the 3D printer’s large build tray, the company can produce multiple variations of the frames in the same print job, increasing throughput and securing reduced developmental costs. Not only can the company produce full-color prototypes with textures and intricate designs built into the plastic, but it is able to do so in a fraction of the time.

“The ability to have our 3D printed concept prototypes mimic the exact same color and texture as the finished product has significantly accelerated the development of new eyeglass frames,” says Daniel Tomasin, Product Sample Coordinator at Safilo. “In fact, with the removal of painting from the process, we can quickly respond to market trends and reduce our prototyping cycle from 15 hours to just three hours. This has slashed our developmental turnaround time by 60%, excluding post-processing, allowing us to accelerate our time-to-market and maintain our competitive edge with the launch of the latest fashion eyewear.”


“With 3D printing, we can play with textures and transparency, as well as blending a wide gamut of colors to achieve an incredible result, quickly and cost-effectively,” says Luca Bordin, 3D Modeling Specialist at Safilo. “This ability to iterate often without incurring expensive costs allows us to perfect our design early in the design cycle. This arms us to not only dramatically reduce our turnaround time, but helps improve communication with the designers, enabling us to achieve the best product possible.”

Greater Design Variety, Greater Creativity

Watch the video to learn how Safilo is streamlining its prototyping cycle using the Stratasys J750 multi-material, full-color 3D Printer
Click the image to watch the video to learn how Safilo is streamlining its prototyping cycle using the Stratasys J750 multi-material, full-color 3D Printer


The simplified, shorter, and smarter process has not only saved Safilo time, but has opened the door to more creative freedom.

“This is the start of a new age for designers. Thanks to the ability of Stratasys’ full color, multi-material J750 to combine an endless gamut of striking colors with varying levels of transparency, we can produce a number of completely different frames and secure levels of product personalization that were previously unattainable,” says David Iarossi, Safilo Creative Designer and Associate Director for Carrera, Givenchy and Havanianas.  “As you can imagine, in the eyewear industry, personalization is key.

“Stratasys 3D printing is fantastic. The frames surpass those produced manually, particularly as we no longer need to worry about the paint fading since the color is integrated into the 3D printed frame. Stratasys full color, multi-material 3D printing has unleashed a fresh dimension of creativity and faster route-to-market than our previous methods allowed,” he concludes.

Method Time
Old workflow (Handmade prototype) 15h develop + 3h finishing = 18h
New workflow (Printed prototype) 3h print + 3h finishing  = 6h
Savings 12 hours (66%)