What really goes into the process of making glasses? The short answer is… a lot!
Dr. Brad Laudicina is one of few optometrists who know how to create a pair of glasses from start to finish. He is a native of Bradenton and began working for Eye Center, Inc. in Optical at just 15 years old, where he quickly found his passion for the field of optometry.
Fast forward nearly 20 years, and today at Eye Center, Inc., Dr. Laudicina practices the full scope of optometry. He specializes in the treatment of ocular diseases including glaucoma, macular degeneration, dry eyes, diabetic care, as well as the fitting of many different kinds of contact lenses and glasses.
Creating a pair of glasses is a very detailed process. Speaking of “fast forward,” we filmed the entire process and condensed it for you… in under two minutes!
Here are the critical steps to create a pair of glasses:
Step 1: Lens Tracer
The Lens Tracer will take the measurement and shape of the lens to cut the lens into the exact shape later in the process.
Step 2: Layout Machine
The Layout Machine helps orient the lens to the patients prescription.
Step 3: Lens Savor
The Lens Savor is used to protect the front surface throughout the manufacturing process to prevent scratches.
Step 4: Blocking Station
The Blocking Station uses a wax system to apply a block for the machines to hold on to the lens in a safe way.
Step 5: Generator
The Generator takes the lens blank which is typically 8-10mm thick. It removes the thickness and applies a back-curve, which is what gives you the prescription.
Step 6: Fining
Fining uses high-grit sandpaper to rough the surface of the lens while cold water runs. The sandpaper is removed and a felt polishing paper is applied.
Step 7: Polishing
The Polishing process uses a white compound to make the lens perfectly clear.
Step 8: Wax Removal
The wax and surface savor are both removed with gentle force.
Step 9: Inspection
The lenses are inspected for accurate thickness and prescription.
Step 10: Edging
A fitting is applied to the lens for the Edging Machine to hold the lens tightly in place. The lens is placed into the Edger and cut into the final shape to match the frame.
Step 11: Remove Fitting
The fitting used for edging is now removed.
Step 12: Smoothing
The lens is applied to two different smoothing techniques to ensure there are no sharp edges and to fit the frame.
Step 13: Frame Warmer
For plastic frames, a Frame Warmer is used to expand the plastic just enough to slip the lens in place. The frame cools and contracts over the lens.
Step 14: Final Inspection
The final inspection includes making sure the bifocals are in the right position, the lens power is correct, the center thickness is correct, and there are no scratches.