Statement Sunglasses: The Future Looks Bawsome
3 min read
Business partners Max Malicki and Matt Tymowski knew they wanted to use 3D printing to create unique, personalized objects. Working with Materialise they came up with the idea for Bawsome: sunglasses that not only offered endless customization in terms of frame color, but that also let the wearer literally make the statement of their choice.
Use 3D printing to create unique, customizable objects
Bawsome started as an idea that Matt Tymowski explored in his spare time. Thanks to his job developing custom polymer solutions for manufacturing and construction companies, he was already indirectly exposed to 3D printing, interested in customization, and recognized the potential that 3D printing offered for personalization.
Matt partnered up with Max Malicki, an advertising executive who understood the value of effective product marketing. Together they wanted to develop a product that takes advantage of the innovative manufacturing process that 3D printing uses to produce unique, personalized objects.
Eyewear was exactly what they were looking for. As Matt put it, “With eyewear, you can express your individuality, attitude and style front and center. It is hard not to notice something on someone’s face.”
Co-creation from concept to end product
Bawsome first sat down with Materialise to see how technologically and economically feasible their concept was. The two sides came up with out-of-the-box proposals to see what would work best and in which ways 3D printing could bring added value.
“Materialise had the flexibility to drive things with a very high quality — I felt like I was using Materialise as an R&D center for my startup.”
— Matt Tymowski, Co-founder of Bawsome
Using that input, the design and engineering team at Materialise went to the drawing table. After a few iterations on the hinges, Materialise printed a prototype to present a ‘first draft’ of the concept.
Once they had a prototype that everyone could agree on, it was time to make it reproducible, taking all the strict quality control checks of the eyewear industry into consideration. This process includes procedures to meet the eyewear industry’s tough requirements, including fine-tuned printers, well-defined finishing steps, and quality control procedures. To keep all the orders organized and to service Bawsome’s customers as soon as possible, all quality control standards along with the manufacturing and assembly steps are followed up with Materialise’s additive manufacturing (AM) automation and control software Streamics.
Matt explains, “Materialise had the flexibility to drive things with very high quality — I felt like I was using Materialise as an R&D center for my startup.
“When looking at difficult questions such as surface quality, Materialise was there to provide a novel solution. When I was trying to plan how to paint the frame, Materialise gave a great solution to dye the frames on-site, leaving less time I would spend on post-processing. We agreed that Materialise would initially take care of the hinges so that I did not have to assemble the frames on my own while I’m still getting Bawsome off the ground.”
Customizable statement sunglasses
With Bawsome sunglasses, the wearer can customize the glasses, choosing the frame (both front and temples) and lens color. Not only that, but they can also personalize them by writing messages on the side in the color of their choice to “change your accessory into a statement.”
Speaking about the entire process, Matt said, “We could not achieve this level of quality without the support and guidance provided by Materialise. I appreciate that they were not only executing what I had to say but really contributing to the conversation and offering ideas from their vast experience.
“We reviewed other 3D printing service bureaus; however, none could offer the complete package that Materialise does – from co-creation to engineering and design, to prototyping, to certified additive manufacturing including post-processing and final assembly.”
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