Introduction: 3D-printed Spectacles

Hello everyone!

In this tutorial I will show you what steps you need to take to 3D-print your own spectacles. With this I mean the the frame around the glass. NOTE: This tutorial is made for people that have an intermediate knowledge about 3D modelling and work with professional programs (Solidworks, Autodesk Inventor etc.) . I am not going to show you how to design the frame, no we are not going to design anything at all, only the glass. Why? 2 reasons:

1. The design is already available for free online

2. The glass in spectacles are custom made, they are one of a kind. So in order to get this to work, is by designing the glass and reshape it in our model.

WARNING: Only do this with an old pair of glasses, I am not responsible for any harm you caused to your current spectacles, just because you wanted to wear something new. 3D printed frames for spectacles are always inferior then professional frames. So I advice you not to break the current frame of your spectacles.

Step 1: Intro

The story

I came up with this idea after I broke the frame of my own spectacles for the 5th time. The first time I broke it, I just glued it together and re-glued it every time it broke again. After the 5th time it was passed the point of re-glueing

I went to the store I bought it from and asked if they could remake the frame for me. Unfortunately because the spectacles were already pretty old they didn't make this type of frames anymore.

I decided to 3D print my own frame.



The goal of this project is to design the glasses of your spectacles so that it can fit into any model you may find online.

For this project you will need the following:

- Pencil

- Piece of paper

- Cloth


- Professional 3D modelling program

- Sanding paper

- Patience

- 3D printer or someone that you know that has access to one. (I don't personally have a 3D printer or know anyone with it, so I let a person make this for me for fairly cheap on 3Dhubs).

Step 2: Finding Your Online Frame Model

  1. Figure out what type of glasses you have. Is it casual? Big, small? Owl shaped?
  2. Find a frame model where the glasses could possible fit in. You could find this on websites like thingiverse. For my model I got them from: (they offer 3 frame models). In case the website doesn't work anymore in the near future you can also just download the .stl file if you have the same shape as me.

Step 3: Design the Glass

  1. Draw the glass: Put one of the two glasses of the spectacles on a cloth so that it stays free of any stains/dirt/scratches. Measure the glass with the caliper carefully and be careful not to scratch it. Draw the contour on a piece of paper and write the measurements down.
  2. Redraw the glass in solidworks
  3. Add a chamfer to the edge of the glass (this is necessary to make the glass fit into the frame).
  4. Thicken the glass so that it will go through all the frame thickness (this is explained into the next step

Step 4: Design the Frame

Design the glass in a 3D modelling program, I used Solidworks.

  1. Change the .stl file into a .part file of the frame model. This is necessary to change the .stl file.
  2. Create an assembly
  3. Insert the frame and the glass part.
  4. Make the frame solid with the thicken command
  5. Place the glass part in the frame part and cut away the frame with the cavity command.
  6. Mirror the cavity command to the other side of the frame.

Step 5: Print and Make Adjustments

Now the model is done you can 3d print it. For my model I used flex PLA. Flex PLA has good strength and is a bit flexible. These properties are recommended, because you have to be able, to snap the glass into the frame. I tried it also with regular PLA and ABS and both materials did not survive when I inserted the glass.

I used a layer height of 0.05 to get a smooth surface.

After 3d printing the glass might not fit immediately into the frame. Use rough sanding paper (100 grit) to sand the frame until the glass fits in. (this took me around 30 minutes)


That's it! Congratulations! You are now the owner of your own 3D printed spectacles!

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