Add some silly argument that "for the 1st time" it takes the details of the eye rotation ito account and you have it.
ALSO, because the companies themselves know that the true advantages of "individual" lenses / free form over a good traditional design in many cases is only slightly more than marginal. (Will likely also apply to "true back surface design", but this would belong to a different thread.....)
So then it all boils down to marketing?
If it was based on cost, just imagine if they did away with their warehouses full of ready made conventional PAL moulds and provided only those for FreeForm?
You think they would pass they saving on to the customers??:finger:
It’s so simple to be wise. Just think of something stupid to say and then don’t say it.
Look, as much as the vitrol tends to spew forth on these boards against the "Big E", *every* company will spin their product to be in some way, shape or form better than everything else out there. It's marketing 101, and it's done with great effect by just about every one the world's lens manufacturers large and small. What may on the surface appear to be a "better" or "cheaper" or "more accurate" way to you and I, may in fact be very different to a given company. We all have to remember that despite what we know about or profession, and what we would like to think we know about a given company, their level of R&D, technical skill and knowledge, product performance, and even marketing may vary widely - even within a single company over time.
If you ask me - ALL lenses from EVERY manufacturer are over hyped and over priced to a degree. But, this is the market we all choose to work within. My suggestion is that we all try to find the way we can best fit the model...because folks, it ain't changin anytime soon.
My personal opinion and take it for what it's worth. The technology to create a free form lens is still in it's infancy compared to the traditionally molded technology. Their are limitations to the powers, cyls, prism, etc that can be surfaced. I believe that once these parameters are expanded to cover the large majority of the population you will see free form lenses replace most of the molded designs. Some manufacturers are continuing to invest money into molded designs still to date and the equipment still exists in the marketplace to justify the traditionally molded route, but time will tell. Their used to be a time when you ordered a plus cyl and the cyl was ground on the front, this was the norm, nowadays they transpose and grind it on the back, this was due to a reduced number of tools that had to be stocked and the ease of picking those tools. Free form offers the same advantages to the lens inventory, except the entire inventory can not be replaced yet.
It's not really about cost, IMHO. It's about:
1 Technology (or lack thereof) - especially with frame construction and attention to fit, as well as durability (think those gosh-darn spring hinges)
2. Being "carefully taught" over generations that glasses are bad, and to be avoided
3. The always decreasing lack of skill with respect to ophthalmic dispensers - and I'm not talking technical knowledge here... I'm talking real craftsmanship, the type you can only learn over time, if you're truly motivated to do so. (many OBs here possess this trait - I can tell).
4. Our current culture's fascination with hype and marketing. Those who know...see through it all.
Hate to sound like a curmudgeon, but the good ship ECP is not going to turn in the right direction anytime soon without a return to the good old basics of ophthalmic dispensing as a craft - I'll go so far as to say "technical craft" Sure, Soft skills are important, but we're leavin' so many hard skills behind in the market consolidation that I'm afraid that no one will soon remember enough to teach others. This, then, is my main issue with the schools and their current curriculums. Lot's of technical...little craft.
The money to be made with Free Form is NOT in the blanks, it's in the software licencing and click-fees. So while there is a savings on the basic blank, there is greater cost in producing the lens.
The blank cost for the Shamir Free Form is very low, since it's just a single vision blank. The real cost comes in for the "click fee." Everytime we make a Shamir design, we pay a fee to Shamir for the design. This actually makes our cost for the lens higher than most molded progressives.
Seiko's royalty cost is much lower, but you have to use Seiko blanks for their lenses. Overall they still cost less, but have a narrower Rx range, and still end up more than most molded progressives.
This is why Shamir keeps introducing lower cost FreeForm designs. While they make excellent lenses, Seiko, Zeiss, and Hoya are making ones just as good at a lower cost.
...and in the frozen lands of Nador they were forced to eat Robin's minstrels, and there was much rejoicing.
I like Shamir products, but I think their top end PAL is well overhyped and here is my reason why:
The benefits that make the Autograph premium:
These three components make the Auto what it is. Well the lower cost FreeForm lenses don't have this technology built in so they are inferior in that respect, but they don't preclude the addition of these technologies. Here's what I mean:
- FreeFrame Technology - Adapt the corridor to the frame.
- As-Worn Technology - Compensations for vertex, panto, and faceform tilts.
- FreeForm - Fully back surface design.
I like the:
These lenses have a cost comparable to traditionally surfaced products and they are produced as fully back surface PALs so they include the last technology FreeForm. Now if memory serves me correctly there have been numerous threads on this forum that discuss the formulas for compensating the powers for an As-Worn position. Actually befor eth Autograph was available
- Element Short
- Succees WS
Darryl Meister had:
- http://www.optiboard.com/forums/show...ional-friendly) - A stand alone compensation program.
- http://www.opticampus.com/tools/tilt.php - A web based compensation program.
- http://www.optiboard.com/forums/show...rap-Calculator - A stand alone compensation program.
So there are threee different companies provideing 3 different solutions for as worn technology which can be implemented by the optician on there end and as an added bonus the alogorythms in all cases have either been discussed here on this forum or are available in the documentation.
- http://www.kbco.net/wrapsolutions/accucalc.html - A stand alone compensation program (documentation seems to have references to Darryls programs so it may be a derivative of Darryl's work or may have been a colaboration.)
As for th elast technology FreeFrame this is another way of saying our software put's our different PALs and your frame on a virtual layout chart. A member of this board Tony has a site with the majority of PAL brands cut out charts available:
So every one of the patented technologies that go into the top of the line PAL can be done in house before ordering and can allow any truly free form lens to be upgraded from base line to top of the line. I have been doing this for years and saving almost 50% of the cost of an Auto by utilizing the Element or Element Short while lately I have been into the Seiko designs with great success.
Last edited by YrahG; 06-18-2010 at 10:45 AM.
There was always an incentive to use minus cyl single vision, because wearers would eventually graduate to multifocals, with additions of one kind or another on the fronts of semi-finished blanks, and there was a belief that shifting from plus- to minus-cylinder lenses caused some discomfort. But plus-cylinder single vision glass finished lenses were far cheaper to produce, as the curves involved lent themselved to producing large numbers of lenses simultaneously.
I think that the real reason for the shift was the shift from glass to plastic lenses. I don't think that anyone ever came up with a manufacturing process for producing minus cylinders analogous to the one used for plus cylinders (the problem, I think, being the curves involved; they were too steep or too flat for the multi-blank process) - and for cast lenses, producing convex cylinders required a concave mold. Also, in a casting operation, the number molds required is a fraction of the number of lenses produced, making mass production (of the kind applied to finished glass lenses) of molds less attractive.
Today, I don't know if any of the large producers still use glass molds. But they did, back in the 1970's, when the shifts from glass to plastic, and from plus to minus cylinder processing, took place, simultaneously.
At Wal-Mart we sell these as a Nikon Customized. It seems like every time I sell one the patient is in a few weeks later for a refund or I remake it into a less expensive Zeiss.I would rather sell the Zeiss or the Varilux .
Hoya just introduced a new lens , the summit IQ...it offers a freeform design and they compensate the PD based on seg ht and RX to provide optimal intermediate and reading placement. My Doc has tried the Zeiss individual and Autograph II in the past year and says the optics in the Summit IQ is the best he has ever had...the price is great too but have not had time to compare it to the lifestyle
There have plenty of freeform design for PAL to choose and it is really hard to say which one is the best for individual patient. Too much things to be consider in a prescription makes our choice more complicate.
We are setting up a new Rx lab to produce freeform lenses and the first problem for us is which design we should choose in the beginning. Most design are charged as click-fee and the price of each click will be big difference. Our target is supply low price freeform lens with good quality and fast leadtime to customers.
Did anybody tried I.O.T. design and share some outputs about the design?
The click-fee is for technology/patent; but it doesnt mean other products dont have that technology.
Free Form is popular, not just because hype/advertising, but also because poeple values their eyes/vision.
A well dispensed PAL is better that a poor dispensed Free Form.
Hello, this is Kevin Wan! :cheers:
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