The firm claims to cut 15 months from the cycle.

MINNEAPOLIS & REHOVOT, ISRAEL — Stratasys says its new prototyping solution can cut as much as 15 months from the development and production cycle for eyeglass frames.

The system combines a 3D printer with VeroFlex, a new 3D printing material for eyewear prototyping. The company says the system reduces time-to-market to "eight weeks or less."

From initial design concept to display on the store shelf, a frame design usually takes about 18 months using traditional techniques, the company said in a press release. Large eyewear manufacturers may create up to 150 new frame designs weekly.

The VeroFlex Rapid Prototyping Eyewear Solution "provides eyewear manufacturers the ability to deliver products over a year faster and lead with the latest market trends, while improving salability of its products," the company (Nasdaq: SSYS) stated.

“The eyewear market continues to expand, driven by new technologies, demand for customization and growing addressable markets,” Mike Vasquez, founder and CEO at the digital manufacturing consultancy 3Degrees, said in the release. “As the industry seeks to maximize its opportunity, Stratasys' prototyping solutions for frames and eyewear accessories — which can cut time-to-market by upwards of 80 percent — will be an attractive solution that is able to deliver immediate value for users looking to make parts with a high degree of mechanical function and appearance.”

The material offers the ability to create and mix solid, opaque, transparent and color shades in addition to simulating true-to-life textures such as wood grains, leather, stitching, bone, carbon-fiber, and photo-realistic images.

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