Back to the Drawing Board — Reworking Glasses Hinge Designs

A few weeks ago, we had a meeting with Type A Machines -a local 3D Printing company located in Oakland, CA. We are looking into their 3D Printers for Olimpico Learning’s Summer STEAM programming, for our special workshop on 3D printing this summer, as well as for our Build Your Vision special pipeline project as part of the Inspire Mountain View community project.

Check out Type A Machines here:


In addition to advising us on printing services and machines, Type A had some great advice regarding the glasses prototyping I have been working on for the last little while.

Part of my challenge for in creating the 3D Printing portion of Olimpico’s summer program is designing 3D printed sunglasses for multiple designs. Logistics in the sheer volume of the print quantity is an issue, and I don’t think it will be feasible to design a true glasses hinge for this phase of the project. We will save that part for the Build Your Vision project we are working on with Alta Vista High School. As such, I have been experimenting with different methods.

The last connector I prototyped was a simple notch and slot system. To see the details, check my previous post:


At our meeting, in consultation with Type A machines, we decided creating a snap connector like those often seen on children’s toys. After a bit more playing around in Rhino, I have come up with the following designs:

They are basically the same, the only difference being the distance between the two cylindrical connector pieces on the right-side. The idea is for the left piece to snap into the two cylindrical connectors on the right side. Hopefully, they will be able to swivel as well, allowing the glasses to fold in.

Here is a closer look:


Type A also suggested taking the notch and slot connector I designed, and making the slot angled to maintain a better angle on the temple piece of the glasses. Here is the design in Rhino:


Now it’s time to get these prototypes 3D printed, and see if they actually work! Come back in a few days to find out the results!

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