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Emmanuel Andrivet
Emmanuel Andrivet
Emmanuel Andrivet, Eyewear Designer

People of 3D Printing: Emmanuel Andrivet

Who is Emmanuel Andrivet?

Meet the Eyewear Designer, Emmanuel Andrivet. Optician and a self-taught designer, he started using CAD modeling with software such as AutoCAD and Rhino 3D. His goal? To use 3D printing to develop eyeglasses.

Why did you start using 3D printing?

I first acquired a great experience on Rhino 3D, working on 3D modeling organic shapes, for example. While using traditional manufacturing methods, the prototyping process was quite laborious. From my original drawing to the interpretation of the prototypist, I was often disappointed by the final result. 

I have always been curious and interested in the evolution of new technologies. When I first heard about Stereolithography (SLA) in 1998, I naturally started to pay attention to this technology. This manufacturing technology allowed me to create prototypes by myself and give life to my ideas. There was still a few disadvantages: This process was expensive and the parts quite fragile. However, these parts I had in my hands were real interpretations of my drawings and true to the ideas I had.

What 3D printing technologies and materials are you working with?

By following the different evolutions of 3D printing, I quickly understood that the Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) technology and the use of Nylon were promising. Once you have found good finishing options, this manufacturing technology becomes a real alternative to traditional eyewear manufacturing. 

How does 3D printing impact the development of your projects?

For someone like me, working on the 3D modeling process of a project without a sketch, 3D printing allows to develop a project in record time, without any restriction regarding the quantity. If the prototype is good enough, we can create a product in one month maximum, which is impossible with traditional eyewear manufacturing techniques. 

What would be your advice for someone starting to use 3D printing?

The first thing to know how to master 3D modeling software. Then, it is necessary to know about the different constraints of the 3D printing technology we are willing to use, whether regarding the layer thickness or the orientation.  It is also essential to know about the conversion methods of the manufacturing files.

For you, what is the biggest advantage of 3D printing ?

The first advantage of 3D printing, and the most important for me, is the freedom of creation. While using 3D printing, there is no limit of shape, geometry or volume. The manufacturing process is not a constraint anymore, it is possible to create products true to our ideas. 

What is your point of view on the future of 3D printing?

I think that the first evolutions will be made on 3D printing materials, with a bigger diversity of 3D printing materials, from transparent materials, wood and ceramic for example. Then, evolutions on metal 3D printing which will become more accessible. I think that there will be an big evolution on 3D printers as well, maybe with autonomous desktop SLS printers.

On a more personal aspect, what are the most impressive 3D printing applications for you ?

All the applications of 3D printing in the medical sector are really impressive, with the creation of prosthetics, but also in the dental sector. 

3D printing applications in other sectors such as aeronautics and automotive, with projects developed by Airbus and Bugatti, but also, 3D printing projects related to art and furniture are also really interesting.

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