Executive Briefings

Small Business Finds 3D Printing Can Bring Cost Savings

Since David Friedfeld took over ClearVision Optical from his father in 1985, he's seen most eyewear manufacturing move overseas. The 120-employee company, based in Hauppauge, N.Y., is bringing a small piece of it back. Last year, Friedfeld purchased an entry-level 3D printer for just under $3,000. He still does the bulk of his manufacturing abroad, but he can now print eyeglass prototypes in-house.

Small Business Finds 3D Printing Can Bring Cost Savings

The device “has taken three months off our production cycle [and] allowed us to stay closer to the market,” he says. “We are able to get far more creative.” He’s so bullish on 3D printing that he’s planning a design-it-yourself website that will allow customers to build their own frames, try them on with facial recognition software, and then click to have ClearVision print and ship them a few trial pairs.

That kind of enthusiasm seems contagious among small business owners who are trying out 3D printing technology, says Daniel Levine, a consumer trends expert and director of the Avant-Guide Institute. He’s been following 3D printing closely for several years, though he says the technology only jumped into mainstream consciousness about two years ago, when the first affordable printers became available.

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The device “has taken three months off our production cycle [and] allowed us to stay closer to the market,” he says. “We are able to get far more creative.” He’s so bullish on 3D printing that he’s planning a design-it-yourself website that will allow customers to build their own frames, try them on with facial recognition software, and then click to have ClearVision print and ship them a few trial pairs.

That kind of enthusiasm seems contagious among small business owners who are trying out 3D printing technology, says Daniel Levine, a consumer trends expert and director of the Avant-Guide Institute. He’s been following 3D printing closely for several years, though he says the technology only jumped into mainstream consciousness about two years ago, when the first affordable printers became available.

Read Full Article

Small Business Finds 3D Printing Can Bring Cost Savings