Startup 3D Prints Custom Glasses for your Kids


Fitz Frames tailors each pair of glasses to the unique size and shape of the wearer’s face, 3D printing $95 glasses for children as young as three.

Hertel was also surprised by how unpleasant the entire experience of getting glasses was for her children. Visiting an optician can be just as stressful as visiting a doctor or dentist. Then, there’s the issue of getting the children to sit still while they try on different frames. All of this is aggravated by the fact that most children’s eyewear doesn’t come in a wide range of sizes. Most brands, including Warby Parker Kids and Jonas Paul Eyewear, just come in two sizes that are designed to fit children aged 4 to 12. Hertel says that she often couldn’t find a size that fit her kids. “Children’s faces are still growing,” says Hertel. “There’s not much you can do if your child is in-between sizes or the glasses, they want are too big or small for their face.”

Hertel and Schlumberger have solved this problem by creating an app that allows children to virtually try out glasses at home, and by 3D printing the frames to the dimension of the child’s face. Parents start by downloading the Fitz Frames app, where they can take measurements of their child’s face. Then they can virtually fit their child with the six different frames, which come in eight colors. Then, they can choose the pair that they want, which will be manufactured to order in the Fitz Frames factory in Youngstown, Ohio. The glasses will then be delivered within a week.

The company has spent a lot of time thinking about the specific design of these children’s glasses. While most eyewear brands simply shrink adult lenses into smaller sizes, Hertel and Schlumberger wanted to focus specifically on the needs of children. For instance, the glasses come with hinges that snap into the temple (the long piece that goes over the ear) rather than requiring a screw. This makes it easier to put the glasses back together and eliminates the risk of losing a tiny screw if they come apart. And parents can also choose to buy a $185 annual subscription, which includes as many replacements as necessary.

Each pair of glasses comes inscribed with the child’s name. If they leave their glasses at school or at soccer practice, someone may find them and give them back. But it’s also a fun touch. “Many kids like knowing that their eyewear was made specially for them,” says Schlumberger.

Analysis: The article shows the custom ability of 3D printing and how cheap and quickly different models can be sent out. 3D printing allows for complete customization to the consumer it is meant for. Also, it shows that even as the consumer grows the model can be adjusted and reprinted to allow for consistent customized glasses.