back to top

Watching Contacts Being Made Is Oddly Mesmerizing

You stick it in your eye, but do you know where it came from?

Posted on

Contact lenses have been around for more than 100 years and a lot has changed since they were invented.

Soft lenses (which are what almost everyone wears nowadays) are made from these hard poly hema (aka plastic) discs.

A computer controls a lathe that cuts the disc down to size based on the prescription strength.

The machine spins at 6,000 rotations per minute and uses an industrial diamond to shape the inner curvature (the part that touches your eye).


The hard disc is soaked in water for 24 hours which turns it into the soft flimsy thing you can actually use.

The lens only stays flexible if it's continuously moist, which is why they can dry out if you sleep in them (among other horrible things).