While some brands offer a few different sizes or fits to choose from, sunglasses are still often considered a one size fits all product. For an area as sensitive as our faces, it makes sense that someone has decided to offer custom-fit, 3-D printed sunglasses that match up with your unique noggin.
USA-based Skelmet Inc. has designed the Falcon 1, a pair of multi-sport sunglasses that are very lightweight, durable and provide a large field of view. Most importantly, the company utilizes scan-to-print technology to produce custom sunglasses for each buyer, ensuring a perfect fit for heads of any size or shape. The Falcon 1’s Indiegogo campaign has already exceeded its funding goal, and there’s still a few days left to buy in…
The Falcon 1 is an extremely lightweight pair of sunglasses at just 17g. This is presumably an average figure considering they won’t all come out exactly the same, but regardless, these things are definitely light. The frames are made of ‘ultralight aerospace materials’ (nylon-plastic) with an advanced coating technology, and they are UV and sweat resistant.
The frames achieve their minimal weight and flexibility via their internal micro-structures, made possible by today’s industrial 3-D printing technology. Be aware the final product may vary slightly from the photos seen here, as design analysis is still underway. What we see today is apparently a close representation of the final iteration, but it may see minor tweaks to improve upon strength and aerodynamics.
So how exactly do they measure everyone’s head? There are two options- As of this summer, customers will be able to download Skelmet’s scan app and use their smartphone (and a friend) to scan their head from all sides. Alternatively, the company also plans to have partner shops perform scans for buyers… but there are no details on participating retailers yet.
With your scan in hand, Skelmet takes 86 points on your face into consideration including the bridge and tip of your nose, your cheekbones, temporal lobes and your ears. The company has also amassed a database of 3500 scanned heads, and generates their fit algorithms based on your measurements and this research.
The Falcon 1’s custom approach aims to provide both a comfortable feel and secure fit. Pressure at your temples is controlled, the nose piece is custom-shaped, and the arc of the frames matches to the curvature of your forehead to ensure maximum field-of-view coverage. Skelmet says if your sunglasses don’t fit or aren’t comfortable, just tell them within three months and they’ll make you new frames until you’re happy.
The Falcon 1’s interchangeable High Definition UV400 lenses provide 100% UV protection and are made of durable polycarbonate to keep your eyes safe through a crash or impact. The lenses contain anti-fog coatings, and the frames also feature an Active Ventilation system that channels air freely around the lenses to keep things clear.
The Falcon 1 frames come in Graphite Black, Sapphire Black or Alpine White. Lens options include five different hues intended for various purposes, plus polarized, tinted, and single-vision prescription options.
Supporters can currently reserve a pair of non-polarized Falcon 1’s for $229 USD, or upgrade to polarized lenses for $259. Global shipping is available but not included, and the first finished units are expected to ship in September. Check out the Indiegogo campaign here.