Smith's newest ski goggles are 3D-printed to fit individual wearers
As is the case with pretty much all athletic wear, it's important that ski goggles fit their user quite well. Outdoor gear manufacturer Smith is taking that concept to an extreme, with goggles that are custom 3D-printed to fit the face of each client.
Buyers of the I/O MAG Imprint 3D goggles start by selecting a strap plus two interchangeable lenses, via the Smith website. Once their order has been placed, they receive a unique code along with instructions for downloading an iOS app. Using that app and their iPhone or iPad camera, they perform a 3D scan of their face at home.
The scan data is subsequently used by Smith to 3D print the frame of the goggles – the face flange of that frame is reportedly tailored to the exact contours of the client's face. Once the assembly process is complete, the finished goggles are shipped to the buyer. The whole process is claimed to take 14 business days.
According to Smith, the custom goggles have much fewer pressure points, air leaks and light leaks than "off-the-rack" models, meaning that the strap can be kept considerably looser for increased comfort. Additionally, because they don't rely solely on the squishiness of the foam to ensure a good fit, less of that material is used. They're also claimed to provide a wider field of view, as the lens is able to sit closer to the wearer's face.
Be warned, though, the I/O MAG Imprint 3D goggles aren't cheap – they sell for US$450 a pair. That said, we've seen similarly steep prices for custom 3D-printed gear such as bike helmets, cycling shoes and handlebar grips.