3D Printed Eye-Glasses Testing

Here is the first prototype for the Build Your Vision glasses design. I have designed a functional pair of glasses, that can hold prescription lenses, as a first test for our pipeline project. Below is the first prototype in the CAD program Rhino for the full glasses using a ‘notch’ and ‘slot’ connection.

And here is the output -the 3D Printed version.

I am experimenting with the successful connector I modeled in the previous 2-part post on creating connector pieces for my 3D printed glasses project. You can check out the previous posts regarding that phase here:


This simple test-pair of glasses uses a simple notch and square-slot connection. Here is a close-up in Rhino of how the temple and front-pieces will connect:

And here is the connection when 3D printed:

There are a few advantages to this kind of connection vs. a traditional glasses hinge with a pin:

  • I can interchange different temple and front glasses pieces. Since this project will be used for both Build Your Vision and for our K-5 summer camp students, doing so will allow me the flexibility to design different colored temple pieces with a few different designs. Students will then be able to pick and choose how they want their glasses to look. I think this aspect will also be beneficial in showing students the relevance of 3D printing.
  • I am printing a large volume of glasses. Doing a simple connection piece in this manner will allow for more flexibility in printing. Furthermore, connecting and placing a pin in hundreds of glasses is not feasible from a time standpoint.
  • The design is simple, and relatively foolproof. This is important, as the glasses are intended for young children. This also allows for ease of printing and prototyping as I move forwards with the project.

And in the printed version:

This print has been successful. The temples connect to the front-piece and maintain their position. I also have enough flexibility from a design standpoint, allowing for different options for the temple piece.

For the next phase of the project, I will be testing out a few more temple designs, and probably one-to-two front pieces. I want to keep a uniform front piece, allowing students to have fun with their glasses by changing out the temples. Doing so will also be easier when lenses need to be cut for the frames.

I also want to experiment with different thickness for both the temple and front pieces. Right now, I am using a depth of 3.5 mm, but I may increase or decrease it depending on material stability.

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