Vision specialists make eyeglasses quickly by entering the prescription into a computer, cutting the lenses and mounting the lenses into the frame. The key for receiving the glasses at retail vision stores within about an hour is to obtain the prescription that starts the production process.
In-store lab technicians make eyeglasses by implementing the same steps taken by professionals working in traditional laboratories. However, eyeglasses at a retail outlet come straight from the lab located at the rear of the store, as opposed to doctors having to send the prescription to a lab located miles away. It takes a day or more for a standard lab to receive a prescription, at least a day for production, and another day or more for shipping the eyeglasses back to the eye doctor.
Lab technicians in retail stores enter the prescription into a computer to learn what type of tool to use for removing the back surface of the blank lens. Technicians then transfer the lens to a polishing machine for obtaining the correct prescription. Two more fine polishes create a completely clear optical surface.
After polishing, lab technicians transfer the lenses to the finishing lab, where another technician cuts the lens to conform to the shape of the chosen frame. Once the finishing technician creates the right shape, the lens undergoes additional polishing to enhance its appearance. The lens securely mounts within the frame, and the new pair of eyeglasses receives a quality-control inspection that verifies the eyeglasses meet the criteria mandated by the customer.