Introduction: Make Your Own 3D Printed Glasses
My story has been about 3dprinting and eyewear: at age 10 I attended TEDxKids@Brussels and for one of the workshops we had to make something with 3dtin in a minecraft like manner. I ended up making a pair of glasses with my name on them. The idea that a kid could design something that could be 3dprintable was powerful (http://singularityhub.com/2011/10/12/origos-3d-pri... ).
This fascination with 3dprinting stuck and my Dad bought a Makerbot Cupcake and then 2 more Leapfrog Creatrs. I use one of them to run a 3DHub in Antwerp (http://www.3dhubs.com/antwerp/hubs/ritik ).
A year ago, I decided to look at eyewear again and see if I could make some cool glasses that you could wear. I talked to eyewear designers and in that journey, I met Koen van Pottelbergh of Eyesfortheworld, who makes Adjustable lenses to help kids in underpriviledged countries get access to eyecare. So I started designing glasses to raise money for Eyesfortheworld and also help them make glasses that we could 3dprint for these underpriviledged kids.
Step 1: Measure Existing Glasses
Take some eyeglass frames that fit comfortably and measure the length of the sticks (the foldable parts) and the distance between them.
Measure the length of the sticks by starting at the inside face of the glasses to the point where the sticks bend down.
Measure the width of the glasses by measuring the space between the two sticks at the inside face of the glasses.
You will need these measurements to make sure the 3dprinted glasses fit you comfortably.
Other points to measure: the width of the bridge of the nose, so the glasses don't sit too tight on the nose. This can easily be done if you have existing glasses that fit you well, on the side of the sticks there is a number like "52  18 135"... the first number is the width of the lenses, the second one is the width of the bridge and the last number is the total length
Step 2: Draw Your Frame
Draw the glasses that you had in your mind in a program where you can draw and export .svg files... Like Illustrator or if you don't own Illustrator you can use Method Draw ... You can always draw on paper first and scan it in and then use the scan as a base for drawing the vector file. Make sure you delete the image from the final file.
Make sure the nose bridge isn't too small nor too big. If you have a pair of glasses that sits comfortably, use the outline of those glasses to draw the nose.
While designing the glasses leave a block of 14mm high x 7mm wide on the sides to add connectors for the sticks later. Try to draw the whole thing to scale, so you are sure the shape of the bridge is correct and doesn't distort later in TinkerCAD.
Make sure you just draw the outline of the glasses, the space for the lenses will be made later in Tinkercad.
Step 3: Make a 3D Model
Once you have drawn the glasses export them as a .svg file
Then go to TinkerCAD
You will have to log in or make a free account
Make a new design and import the SVG file you created: Scale at 100% and 10mm high. Check that the width matches your measurements - using the ruler tool under the Helpers drop-down on the right. Make sure that the space around the lenses is 4mm minimum, else you will have very thin parts of the glasses and then they could break easily.
Step 4: Shape of Your Glass
Search TinkerCAD for "Ritik EFTW" and you will find a series of pre-shaped lenses that are in various shapes and sizes. Find the ones that match your glasses best and take those lenses from the file copy and paste them in your design.
Don't scale the lenses or ungroup them, they are sized to exact measurements and they are aligned perfectly.
In case your nose is wider, you can ungroup them and move the lenses further apart, but be careful not to move them in any other direction.
Make the lenses a Hole on the Inspector menu at the top right and drop the lenses into your glasses: make sure the "groove" in the lenses is covered by the glasses PIC else the lenses will stick out and also check that the lens is centered enough that the groove does not cut through or leave a hole in the glasses.
If you want lenses for the glasses you just made, you can go to EyeWearKit and order the Shape and size glasses in sunglass or prescription lenses.
Step 5: And Sticks
Then after that you'll need the sticks.
Open another tab and search 'Adjustable Sticks EFTW Ritik' copy everything and paste it in the same tab as your frame and then add the connectors on the space you left on each side. Make sure you put the right piece on the right side: The straight side should be on the "outside" of the glasses.
Then adjust the sticks to the right length only by extending the middle part: ungroup the sticks and adjust the length of the middle part only and then line up the pieces again and group them together. Depending on what technology you print with, you need to make sure the pieces line up perfectly.
And if you want to you can add text on the stick. Try to keep the flat sides flat by making the text into a Hole so they recess into the side. That will avoid having to use support materials when printing.
And make sure the glasses are completely flat, no curves otherwise the prints will have to with support. You can add curves to the glasses by sanding off the 3dprinted glasses later, to make them smoother and rounder.
Step 6: Print Them
Now you are done!
You can choose to print the glasses yourself or print it at a 3D print service like Shapeways or iMaterialise. But best of all get them printed locally with 3dhubs to get your prints quickly and also help local 3dprinter owners (like me).
Make sure to sand the glasses with a fine sandpaper to make them smoother, you can also use a file to make the shape smoother (but only on the outside, don't file the part where the lenses come in).
You can order lenses with EyeWearKit or go to your local optician and ask them to put lenses in there.
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