Introduction: GRaCE- Glowing Removable and Clipable Eyewear

GRaCe (or Glowing Removable and Clipable Eyewear) is a prototype that I made for those who are very active with their hands inside of a dark environment, such as a computer tower or an object with little ambient light inside. GRaCE was designed with the intention of combining safety with hands-free illumination, allowing for the user to attach the device to most brands of safety glasses (though GRaCE can be attached to glasses with prescription lenses, too) and have light without having to hold a flashlight or draw someone else away from something else to have them hold a light. I drew inspiration from Google Glass with this design, picturing an apparatus mounted to a pair of eyeglasses that could be removed and attached to other eyeglasses with ease. I could have designed a new pair of safety glasses that worked with GRaCE, but why force users to buy a purchase something new when what they have works just fine? It is a simple prototype with few pieces, is easy to use and is relatively cheap to manufacture yourself.

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

Materials Needed:

  • Panther Vision POWERCAP 25/10
  • Three popsicle sticks measuring at 4.5 in long
  • Strips of two-sided velcro
  • Hot glue gun/sticks
  • A cutting tool (i.e. box cutter, knife, etc.)
  • Ruler
  • A pair of safety glasses

Depending on whether or not you already have any of the above materials, the total immediate cost to you would be-

  • None Owned: Approx. $40.00
  • Hat Already Owned: Approx. $20.00

The hat is going to be the most expensive part out of all since it is the crux of the project. Ensuring the parts inside the hat stay in one piece is essential to this project.

Step 2: Scrap the Hat

The hat is the most vital part of the entire project because it houses the essential parts for this prototype: the light fixtures. You must now remove the lights and the battery pack from the hat without breaking the circuit the light and batteries share. Take your cutting utensil and get to work! CAUTION: Please exercise proper cutting safety as the cloth may be tough to cut through at certain parts- always cut away from your body and hands. The wires and batteries are located in the left-hand side inner folds of the hat, with the lights being in the bill. Once the lights have been removed, make sure that the lights still work by running a quick test of the lights, checking the batteries as needed. Should the batteries need to be replaced, simply find the model number etched onto the batteries and purchase replacements. NOTE: Make sure to keep as much cloth as you possibly can in as large strips as possible. Some of it will be used in a later step. As for the plastic bill, you can do what you please with that- save it for another project, discard it, or just throw it in that drawer everything goes in but doesn't come back out.

Step 3: Create a Frame

Using the popsicle sticks, you are going to create a lightweight and sturdy frame for the apparatus. Basically, you will be making a wire sandwich with hot glue and popsicle sticks. Take two popsicle sticks and the segments of wires leading from the battery pack. Lay the battery pack with the side that opens facing up and place a stick under the wires. Squirt hot glue onto the wires, making sure to cover as much as possible, and place the other stick on top of it. Take one more popsicle stick and cut it into two segments that are 4 centimeters (cm) long each. CAUTION: Again, practice proper cutting safety when cutting the popsicle stick segments. Take those two segments and find the singular light that has some metal exposed immediately off it. Place one segment underneath it, squirt hot glue on it, and place the other segment on it. This process ensures that the wires will not bend while wearing the prototype, giving it a more rigid frame. Take the cloth from the deconstructed hat and begin wrapping the sticks with the cloth, using hot glue as the bonding agent to the stick and itself. This is to provide some comfort to the user so as not to inflict any damage to the user's ears.

Step 4: Attach Velcro

Velcro will be attached to three parts on the entire apparatus: on the side frame, and on the two sets of lights. On the side frame, attach a strip of velcro about 2.5 cm wide and 7 cm long 1.5 cm from the front edge on the outside of the frame with hot glue. Also on the side frame, place another strip of velcro about 1.25 cm wide and 2.75 cm long about 1 cm from the back edge on the outside of the frame with hot glue. On the two sets of lights, cut two strips of velcro about 1 cm wide and 9.5 cm long and attach them to the center of the fixtures (on top, on top of the frame; on the bottom, in the center of the plastic on the underside). Note in the picture above where the fixtures sit slightly to the left side of the glasses. The strips of velcro may inhibit vision slightly because of the minor coverage of the left eye, but not enough to block sight out of your left eye.

Step 5: Attach to Glasses and Get to Work!

This apparatus was meant to sit on the left side of the user's face and is activated by a button. The lights will sit on the left lens of the user's glasses with the velcro holding them securely in place. NOTE: One set of lights is facing at a slight downward angle, so compensate for the angle of the lights by tilting them upward a few degrees and let the velcro hold it at that angle. The lights have three different settings: activate the bottom set, activate the top set, or activate them all at once. Attach it to your favorite set of safety glasses (or computer glasses or prescription glasses) using the velcro straps as tightly or loosely as needed. You can remove these as necessary or wanted. Now, you can enjoy hands-free lighting that you have the satisfaction of doing yourself!