Craft & Design
How artificial eyes are made


Artificial eyes are amazing! In this How it’s Made video, the creator uses takes an alginate impression of a patient’s eye and then refines and casts it in acrylic, affixing a hand-painted iris. They even use silk threads to give the look of blood vessels. The video’s a little gross, but completely fascinating.


8 thoughts on “How artificial eyes are made

  1. I make something like this using borosilicate glass, only more as a creepy decoration. Using an oxy-propane bench burner, here are the steps I take:

    – gather white glass on the end of a clear rod
    – push the white ball into a colored frit
    – pull a point on a piece of dark color
    – jab the point into the iris
    – flame cut the dark color
    – heat the entire mass, flatten slightly
    – encase the front in more clear glass
    – heat the eyeball until it is molten and flame polished
    – anneal

    I scratch built the annealing oven that is used to cool the eyeball from 1200F to room temp, over about eight hours. I use a thermocouple with a decoder IC from SparkFun, connected to an analog input on an Arduino. My Arduino code reads the temp, drives a relay that drives a 220v contactor powering heating coils. The insulation is Kaowool ceramic insulation, with ITC100 and firebrick to hold the Kanthal wire.

    Here is a link to some photos of the end result on Etsy:

    – James B

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Becky Stern is a Content Creator at Autodesk/Instructables, and part time faculty at New York’s School of Visual Arts Products of Design grad program. Making and sharing are her two biggest passions, and she's created hundreds of free online DIY tutorials and videos, mostly about technology and its intersection with crafts. Find her @bekathwia on YouTube/Twitter/Instagram.

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