Metal Sunglass/Eyeglass Arms - Process?

Was wondering if anyone out there knows what type of processes/techniques are used to create some of the complex shapes you see in sunglass and eyeglass frames. Thinking like Oakley, Nike etc.

I am guessing probably high pressure die casting - anyone have any insights into these…?


Do you have a pic of the ones you’re talking about? If they are metal, they are most likely metal injection molded which uses a molding and sintering process. Or, they could be cast and then polished… Bolle Sunglasses use patented metal manufacturing process called “Microfusion”, which I bet is a sintering process like MIM.

Anyway, few parts in large quantity are cnc machined (not the surfaces at least)…

I do have an image but being new to this board thing so can’t see how you add an image…? no doubt it’s simple…

Everyone has a first post, now it’s my turn to explain how to do it. It’s easy to post an image if it exists on-line … if it does not, you will have to post it from your computer onto a server like ‘photobucket’ or similar site.

For example; to post the above image…

1) In “Post a Reply” click on the box labeled “Img” and it will apply

(note the “/”) and it will appear as:

note that I have left off the final bracket " ] " after [/img … otherwise it would have displayed the image and you would not have seen the code.

To obtain the URL of an image:

  1. “Right click” on the image on your screen
  2. A window will open up.
  3. At the bottom of the window will appear the word “Properties”
  4. “Left click” on "Properties’ : find, “Address: URL”
  5. Hold down the “Left button” and swipe the address with your cursor so that the complete address is highlighted.
  6. “Right click” “Copy”
  7. Close the window with “Cancel”
  8. “Paste” the URL address onto the line after [img] as in Step2 above.
  9. Press the “Preview” button at the bottom of the page to “test” the post.
  10. If all is well, press “Submit”

Hope this helped… …

thanks for the info…really comprehensive…! I’ll stick in the image… should be interesting…

Here is the image that initiated my question…

most likely they are some kind of MIM process but am interested to see if anyone has any other thoughts?


If that is metal it is likely a die casting process (if its plastic it is injection molded). It isn’t a particularly difficult part to produce with today’s technology. 25 years ago before CNC started becomming prevelent, this would have been tricky at best. But now with organic CAD modelling being able to be imported directly into CAM and then machined, this isn’t anything out of reach for most toolmakers.

That said, in order to keep quality high you will want to go with a better toolmaker.

Keep in mind I have never handled this product and I am going based on a photo.