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Not many people have perfect vision, and most of us, at some time or other, need a pair of Spectacles.
Gone are the days when all you could get were Harry Potter round lenses with wire arms. Today there is a dazzling array of designs at every price point. I like the challenge of designing Spectacle Frames because they fulfill an obvious need but can be fashionable at the same time. The challenge I set myself was to model, as faithfully as possible, a range of Spectacle Frames in a variety of materials and shapes.
This pair of spectacles has a moulded plastic frame and also moulded plastic arms. They are joined with industry standard steel hinge parts that are inserted into the plastic parts during manufacture. I would love to have the opportunity of designing frames but no volume manufacturers exist in the UK. My local high street optician tells me that they are all manufactured in Turkey, Hungary and the Far East. Undaunted, I hand measured the shapes and sizes of the frame and arms and modelled them in 3D using SolidWorks. The challenge is that all the parts are made up of compound curves. My first attempt at modelling the frame was only partially successful, the nose pads could not be modelled onto the bare frame. Second attempt was much better. I altered the order in which certain features were constructed, and this time the nose pads appeared in the correct place and I could run fillet rads around all edges of the frame.
I modelled the arms in the same manner, using a compound curve for their shape. I modelled the hinge elements separately and attached them to the frame and arms. I chose the colours for the parts and gave them a 30% transparency. I set up an assembly, inserted the parts and mated them so that they moved as expected. Slight modifications to get everything lined up properly and the model was complete.
I have recently begun working with Alan McLeod, at Health Innovation Support, whose aim is to help innovators within the NHS to develop their ideas. There are some outstanding individuals working within the NHS and I hope to play some part in realising the potential of their innovations.
Medical Product Design. Here are a few reasons why I love this type of design:
Designing medical products is a worthwhile activity. I can’t get too excited when asked to design an add-on gizmo for the latest iphone. With good medical products you are potentially making a real difference to people’s lives, or even keeping them alive.
Most Medical Product Design involves some degree of advanced technology or ways of combining technologies to make a new product.
Because Devon 3D CAD is a small business, I get to work with small innovative companies. Focus on the outcome without layers of management or design by committee. This gets the brain working and collaboration with people eager to make a difference is the driving force.
Health Innovation Support has a long history of guiding innovative ideas along the Development Pathway to success as Medical Products. I hope to add my skill and experience to this important venture of NHS Innovation.
Acorn Computers – Phoebe 2100, the last computer they designed, and I had a hand in its creation!
Product Designers all want to design for high visibility brands, and my chance came when I engineered and modelled the front panel for Acorn Computers. The Front Panel is the most visible part of a Tower cabinet of a PC, specially when it is bright yellow. I was working as a freelance Product Designer at a well known London Design Studio and jumped at the chance to become famous.
I did a really good job of interpreting and engineering the look and feel of the deliciously curvy shape, using Solidworks. The first article parts came back from the Far East moulders and luckily there were very few revisions to be made. Everything was going swimmingly, the finished computers were on a container ship making its way to the UK, when Acorn decided to axe the PC division. So, in September 1998 the Phoebe 2100 RISC computer was cancelled along with my dreams of stardom!
However, I am proud of my contribution, and proved to myself that I could successfully engineer complex injection moulding parts. Acorn Computers are no more, but I am still successfully designing.
For more information about my design skills go to Devon 3D CAD.