EOS, with its customer YOU MAWO, and Fraunhofer EMI, conducted a systemic Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) for YOU MAWO eyewear over the entire life cycle of its 3D printed glasses. From cradle-to-grave, excluding the use phase, this study compares the environmental impact of additively and conventionally manufactured eyewear, covering the life cycle from material sourcing to production to packaging and shipping. The study also included a hotspot analysis to identify major contributors and potential for improvement, including powder refresh rates, powder feedstock, and energy sources used.
High-quality eyewear matters to many of us
Half of the people in the world depend on glasses. At the same time, eyewear is a very personal and emotional topic and over the years has developed into a fashion statement too. It is exposed to UV light and residue from cosmetics and is subject to constant high mechanical stress. For the wearer of glasses, high quality of both the frame and the glasses is essential when it comes to wearing comfort and stability. So why compromise and accept standard glasses that pinch and constantly slip and are often not stable enough for daily wear?
Additively manufactured eyewear with a lower carbon footprint
The study concluded that 3D printed eyewear performs significantly better than conventional eyewear in all 18 impact categories, such as climate change, human toxicity, ozone depletion, and water depletion. As an example, the carbon footprint of a custom, 3D printed YOU MAWO eyewear product is around 58% lower compared to conventionally manufactured eyewear. The analysis also concluded that 3D printed eyewear compared to conventionally manufactured Acetate eyewear, creates 80% less waste and can help to avoid lengthy post-processing. All YOU MAWO locations are powered with renewable energies. The study reveals more potential for improvements, such as a further reduction in the powder refresh rate, the further development of powders with a lower footprint (e.g., bio-based) and less expensive packaging.
100% made in Germany
Altogether, the 3D printing-based eyewear frame production offered by YOU MAWO, based on EOS technology produces three times less CO² emissions than a traditionally produced pair of glasses. Since 2021, the company has set up their own production and assembly in Germany. All production equipment, the basic materials and all consumables in the finishing and dyeing process come from Germany.
The LCA helped EOS to gain more transparency in terms of the carbon footprint of this specific application. It aimed at generating data to better understand the key impact factors for a sustainable, 3D printing-based production and to improve the latter with regards to CO2 emissions. This enables EOS to constantly optimize the technology, processes, and materials for the better of the product, as such supporting customers in their journey towards responsible manufacturing.