3D Printing

Scientists develop 3D printed glasses with the potential to remedy colour blindness


Researchers at Khalifa College have give you a set of 3D printed glasses that could possibly be able to curing Shade Imaginative and prescient Deficiency (CVD) problems. 

Composed of tinted lenses housed in MSLA 3D printed frames, the workforce’s eyewear successfully works by blocking out undesired wavelengths whereas staying clear to the remainder of the seen mild spectrum. 

Already, CVD-affected volunteers sporting the glasses have reported important enhancements in colour identification, main the scientists to conclude that their glasses “have nice potential in combating colour blindness.”

The Khalifa team's 3D printed glasses. Image via Khalifa University.
The Khalifa workforce’s 3D printed glasses. Picture by way of Khalifa College.

Creating a colour blindness remedy 

CVD (often known as colour blindness), is a typical congenital dysfunction that limits the flexibility of sufferers to differentiate between shades of sure colours. In response to the charity Color Blind Consciousness, as many as 1 in 12 of males (8%) and 1 in 200 girls endure from CVD. The dysfunction, which makes every day duties like figuring out the colour of visitors lights or contemporary meals very troublesome, is attributable to faulty photoreceptor ‘cone’ cells within the retinas of affected sufferers’ eyes. 

In wholesome eyes, blue, crimson, and inexperienced cone cells perform collectively to permit for the detection of major colours. Shade blindness is precipitated when one in all these cell varieties is defective or lacking. Whereas gene therapies are presently beneath improvement, these stay on the lab testing stage, which means that sufferers are left needing glasses or contacts to change their colour notion. 

Corporations like Enchroma have provided such eyewear since 2012, and it says its glasses are highly-effective, however it stays troublesome to customise these for sufferers. With this in thoughts, the Khalifa researchers have turned to 3D printing to develop frames of their very own, which might be tailor-made to customers’ color-correcting wants. 

An efficiency comparison between the Atto-dyed 3D-printed glasses and some of the commercially available colorblind glasses on the market. Image via Khalifa University.
An effectivity comparability between the Atto-dyed 3D printed glasses and among the commercially accessible glasses in the marketplace. Picture by way of Khalifa College.

Placing colour correction to the check

As soon as the scientists had designed a prototype pair of glasses on SOLIDWORKS, they printed them from ASIGA DentaClear and Grey resin on a Prusa SL1S system. Within the course of, the workforce discovered that curing time and layer thickness have been very important to reaching optimized optical and mechanical properties, with a six-second per layer print time and 25-micron thickness proving supreme. 

To create the glasses’ lenses, the researchers mixed their resin with Atto 565 and Atto 488 wavelength-filtering dyes, which gave them the specified tinting impact. When fitted to frames and prepared for testing, these lenses proved able to working as desired throughout characterization, in that they blocked undesired wavelengths for CVD sufferers between 480–510nm and 550–580 nm. 

In comparison with off-the-shelf Enchroma glasses, the 3D printed glasses have been additionally discovered to filter out mild at comparable wavelengths whereas exhibiting “higher selectivity” within the mild they transmitted. In follow, this meant the 3D printed eyewear was able to blocking out greater than 50% of undesired wavelengths however sustaining transparency of over 85% to different mild on the seen spectrum.

With volunteers later utilizing the glasses to attain 45% and 200% enhancements in colour identification throughout the usual Ishihara colour blindness check, the workforce says their 3D printed frames signify a viable various remedy for CVD sufferers that’s extra customizable and efficient than business eyewear. 

“Outcomes indicated that our 3D printed glasses have been extra selective in filtering undesired wavelengths than commercially accessible CVD glasses,” concluded the workforce of their paper. “[Our] Findings present that these 3D printed tinted glasses have nice potential in combating colour blindness, owing to their ease of fabrication and customization, which might be tailor-made to the affected person’s want.”

The researchers' 3D printed IR goggles and haptic sleeve system.
A 3D printed IR goggles and haptic sleeve system developed at TUM. Picture by way of Manuel Zahn and Armaghan Ahmad Khan.

Curiously, the Khalifa workforce’s 3D printed glasses aren’t the primary to be developed utilizing the know-how to deal with imaginative and prescient problems. Earlier this 12 months, researchers on the Technical College of Munich (TUM) developed 3D printed haptic suggestions glasses that enable folks with visible impairments to navigate with no cane. 

Elsewhere, additive manufacturing continues to make inroads into the standard eyewear market. Optiswiss put in Luxexcel’s VisionPlatform 7 platform late final 12 months, designed to permit it to raised handle glasses producers with 3D printed lenses. Taking a look at YOU MAWO 3D printed frames, the EOS buyer present in a 2021 life cycle evaluation that utilizing 3D printing lowered their carbon footprint by as a lot as 58%. 

The researchers’ findings are detailed of their paper titled “Growth of 3D-Printed Glasses for Shade Imaginative and prescient Deficiency,” co-authored by Fahad Alam, Ahmed E. Salih, Mohamed Elsherif and Haider Butt. 

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Featured picture reveals Khalifa workforce’s 3D printed glasses. Picture by way of Khalifa College.



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