Introduction: Diy-Ban - the Wooden Sunglasses

Picture of Diy-Ban - the Wooden Sunglasses

Hello today I want to tell you the story of my Diy-Ban sunglasses.
I'm Italian, sorry sometimes my English it is not always correct.

I used a type of tropical wood known as Ipè is very heavy, hard and stable.

Step 1: CAD: the Model 3D

Picture of CAD: the Model 3D

With 3D studio Max I modeled the frame, previously downloaded from the web, and adapted to allow a correct 3d milling.

I exported n. 3 .STL files (one frame and two temple) and I imported into the Cut3D software, generating gcode for 12 milling, roughing and finishing on both sides.

Step 2: CAM and Setup for 3D Milling

Picture of CAM and Setup for 3D Milling

The front will be made from a piece of Ipè of dimensions 80 x 180 x 23.3 (z) mm. I added the tabs in the most fragile points but also simpler for their removal.

After setting the size of the block i have chosen the parameters of the roughing and finishing.

The wood in question is very hard so I set for roughing a depth of cut of 1 mm and 2.6 mm stepover, finishing with stepover 0.3 mm

I generated 4 Gcode for milling the front (roughing and finishing on 2 sides) and then i generated 8 files for the temples with the same procedure, the only difference is that the block had this dimensions: 80 x 180 x 15.7 (z) mm.

You can open this files with this software:

Vectric Cut3D (.v3d)
Vectric Aspire (.crv3d)

Step 3: Preparation of the Milling Support

Picture of Preparation of the Milling Support

The most delicate part is be milled on both sides of a block in such a way that once rotated by 180 ° the zero point coincides with the edge opposite.

For this it is essential that the blocks to be milled have the same size set in the CAM with a precision possibly the tenth of a millimeter.

In addition to this it is necessary to also have a locking system (and unlocking) piece that allows a rotation of 180 ° without deviations.

So I fixed on the floor of my CNC a piece of birch plywood on which I milled pocket of the exact size of the blocks which for convenience I made the same size (80x180) 5 mm deep.

The purpose of the pocket is to be able to set us inside the blocks to be machined without losing the alignment in the X and Y axes as well as to have a perfectly linear sull'azze Z.

The first block is ready to be processed but must be held in place to prevent movement in Z.

Step 4: The Milling Begins...

Picture of The Milling Begins...

After the hard work of CAD and CAM now I expect the final exam, see the final result and hope that the end milling successful considering the fact that only the front the CNC has been working continuously for 7 hours.

To mill all the three blocks (front and back) my cnc spent nine hours.

Step 5: Manual Finishing

Picture of Manual Finishing

After releasing all 3 pieces from the tabs I've hand-finished with sandpaper lightly just trying to soften the forms and eliminating the milling pass.

Then I anointed with the oil of linseed and wiping with a cloth beeswax make them shiny and pleasant to the touch.

Step 6: Hinges

Picture of Hinges

Probably find a way to fix the hinges to the frame is the most complicated, at least it was for me.

It seems incredible, but on the internet I could not find a store that would sell. I only found a shop in Italy that sells beautiful metal hinges with micro-screws and nut but only in a kit for 10 pairs of glasses at a cost of about 80 Euros, I asked if I could send only a pair of glasses but answer was: no!

So I tried to recover the hinges from old celluloid glasses but are embedded in plastic and adapt them to a wooden frame is not easy at all.

So I decided to make do (as usual) and I decided to print them in 3D with my 3D printer.

Based on the measurements of my glasses I modeled with 3D Studio Max, a micro-hinge as that in the image above

I exported the model in .STL I tried to print it in ABS.

As pin i will use a needle sewing custom.

Step 7: Pockets for the Hinges

Picture of Pockets for the Hinges

Another delicate operation is to make small pockets to house the hinges in the frame and temples.

With a micro milling machine and a tool of 0.75 mm and especially with a lot of patience I carved small pockets.

Later I made the holes (diameter 1.2 mm) to insert the micro-screws with nut

Step 8: Grooves for the Lenses

Picture of Grooves for the Lenses

To be able to mount the lenses must be formed in the inner part of the front of the incisions so as to allow a perfect fit.

Always with a tool 0.75 mm going very slowly I made an incision of about 1mm depth along the inside perimeter.

Step 9: Custom Logo Laser Engraving

Picture of Custom Logo Laser Engraving

This particular could not miss ... I had to mark them in some way

Engrave the words "Ray-Ban" was too trivial, "Diy-Ban" instead is more appropriate given the context.

With Aspire Vectric I prepared written and exported gcode for machining a pocket with my cnc laser.

Step 10: Assembly the Temples

Picture of Assembly the Temples

I'm not a optician nor a watchmaker and these operations bring me a bit of stress.

I bought on Ebay of micro-screws M1,2 + nut that I will use for tightening the hinges.

Probably This is for me the most delicate part of this project.

I admit that the assembly of temples did not come very well, I'll do better next time. My next project is about sunglasses using curved sheets of veneer.

Thanks for reading!


RodrigoM127 (author)2016-08-16

hi what machine did you use to cut?

MircoSlepko (author)RodrigoM1272016-08-19

Hi, i've used my self made cnc

jadebernard (author)2016-02-23


The shades look great. Are these shades wearable? Is there a size lens I can buy to place in the wooden shades?


CambrayandStuartG (author)2016-01-17

These are awesome!!

Is there a way to upload this cad to fusion 360?

kevinfelt made it! (author)2015-09-08

Didnt use CAD or any special tools. Totally free handed them and they came out pretty nice. I saw no need to purchase sunglasses hinges because that defeats the purpose of diy, so I used some flattened binder clip halves instead.

MircoSlepko (author)kevinfelt2015-09-08

you've done a great job kevinfelt.
They are awesome!

Toaster55 (author)2015-08-10

How did you get the lenses in? Did you mount them the same way a normal pair of Ray Bans work, or did you slide them in from the side?

MircoSlepko (author)Toaster552015-08-10

I did the bevel and I brought the frame to the optician that I have shaped lenses measure.

impied (author)2015-08-09

wow!!! These look super sharp!!

MateuszD2 (author)2015-08-09

U SERIOUS?! THOSE ARE INCREDIBLE. Detail is wonderfull. Try putting some natural oils on wooden part(or rub some wallnuts...literally rub em and dust off bio remains) for a rich pattern!

MircoSlepko (author)MateuszD22015-08-09

Hello, you've anticipated ...
I'm making a second pair of sunglasses and I've rubbed with tung oil, the result is wonderful. I will publish a post soon

pattiemelt (author)2015-08-08

I don't have a CNC (and probably never will) so I would have to do these totally by hand but I love the work you did! Another one of those 'why didn't I think of that' projects. Great work!

MircoSlepko (author)pattiemelt2015-08-09

Hello and thanks for the compliments.
I can assure you that the work performed by hand are much better than those made by machines.
these days I built other glasses of wood by hand and are more beautiful than those made with the CNC.
In a few days I will publish a post on

Anthony. (author)2015-08-04

Should have Italian....LOL

MircoSlepko (author)Anthony.2015-08-06


01001011 (author)2015-08-03

Just amazing!

MircoSlepko (author)010010112015-08-03

thank you!

BenMercier (author)MircoSlepko2015-08-05

Is there any way that i could buy a pair from you? They're beautiful

MircoSlepko (author)BenMercier2015-08-06

Thank you for the compliments.

The glasses that I have just built the first prototype and I'm already thinking about a system faster to build other glasses. If I find the system could also send you a sample.


ashervivi88 (author)2015-08-05

Wow! Awesome instructable! Congrats on making the newsletter.

MircoSlepko (author)ashervivi882015-08-06

thank you very much

Surrey-Yeti (author)2015-08-04

beautiful work!

stuckindmud (author)2015-08-01

Nice project !! How difficult would it be to mill the hinges out of the original block and only use a metal pin for the pivot ?

MircoSlepko (author)stuckindmud2015-08-01

It would be an idea to try ... I do not think it is difficult but I think the wood becomes too brittle.

geekrex (author)2015-07-31

Awesome Man Specially the DIY BAN logo using laser

Andsetinn (author)2015-07-31

Nice instructable. I always get jealous when people show off their CNC machines. :)
It's all in a name. You can get nice hinges for glasses if you search for RC airplane hinges. You can usually get pack of 10-20 hinges for 5 dollars. Glue in place with CA and your done.

MircoSlepko (author)Andsetinn2015-07-31

Thanks Andsetinn,
probably saved me! tonight I will try to find them on ebay.
Thanks again

bcrocker1 (author)2015-07-31

Sick! I'll have to send an order out to a miller!
Are hinges really that hard to find? I've seen glasses repair kits, but never opened one. Figured there might be at least one hinge in one. 3D printing works just as well, though XD

MircoSlepko (author)bcrocker12015-07-31

hello, probably if I go to an optician I can find everything.
Next week I will go


mike_skinner (author)2015-07-30

Awesome! Tell me more about your CNC, I like the LED lighting it has!

MircoSlepko (author)mike_skinner2015-07-31

Hello if you want more information on my cnc you can visit my blog:

LEDs have them mounted on a breadboard with a hole in the center, it is very simple!

super knex builder (author)2015-07-30

These look sick I wish I had the tools to make a pair

pucksurfer (author)2015-07-30

Those look amazing. Very cool

About This Instructable




Bio: Responsible web development and senior web developer at Titanka! Spa (San Marino - RSM)
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