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Look carefully at your spectacles and you will see, on the inside face of one of the sides, a set of numbers; such as 47-18-140. These numbers show you the fundamental dimensions of spectacle frames.
47 is the width in millimeters of the width of each lens. The width of the lens is usually measured at its widest position horizontally.
18 is the width of the bridge. The width of the bridge is the dimension of the closest points between the two lenses. I initially thought that this would be a dimension the dispensing optician could actually measure on the frame and on the customer’s face. But no. Perhaps this is too difficult to achieve. This is a pity because I am beginning to find out that this is important for finding a frame that fits properly. The width between the nose pads is crucial in getting a fit that allows the spectacles to give you the best vision.
140 is the length of the sides. Not shown here.
Range of sizes.
All major suppliers of spectacles have a range of sizes in stock for most styles of frames. But the dimensions are only an approximate guide to how well each frame will fit. It is still the skill of the optician to find the best fit in a style that complements the customer’s face. The designer must still stick to the conventions of dimensioning so that the optician is confident in selecting the best options.
Devon 3D CAD is exploring a new niche market of 3D CAD design of Spectacle Frames .
I am excited to be using my modelling skills in SolidWorks to create new spectacle frames for clients. Most people who wear glasses have a number of pairs to suit their style of dress or a special occasion. They choose the material, the colour, how the lenses are supported, the shape of the arms, how much decoration is used, and many more variables.
Materials, Finishes and Styles.
At the moment I am modelling designs in plastic. I am building the nose pads into the frame. The arms are a composite of metal and moulded plastic. The hinges all use the same principle but with different details. Another Design of Spectacle Frames uses a slender metal frame to encase the lenses, metal hinges and metal arms. I am building up a range of designs to demonstrate how the different features work together.
3D Printing of Spectacle Frames.
3D Printing is now mainstream and is a great way to test out the Design of Spectacle Frames. Get a fast turnaround time and a cost effective price.
During the summer of 2018 I worked with NEC Europe in updating a medium sized Sheet Metal enclosure.
I used SolidWorks for this really enjoyable Sheet Metal Design project. We had to work hard and be creative to meet the high density of game consoles in a pre-defined size of a steel charging rack. It was a joy to work for a strong project manager and a small, professional team. The enclosures were successfully prototyped and tested, and are now being manufactured and installed for the client.
The NEC Europe project manager has kindly described my work as follows:
“… Neil’s work on the redesign of an enterprise high density game console charging rack for a prestigious museum and game console producer was to an extremely high standard. His methodology and approach was consistent with our ethos and workflows. His attention to detail and re-confirmation of requirements led to a successful proof of concept on time and in budget. We will definitely work with Neil in the future again as new projects with SolidWorks requirements arise …”
Mark Jackson, Department Manager MISD, NEC Europe Ltd.
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.
This Anglo Saxon Brooch and other pieces of exquisite craftsmanship are in the news again. I wanted to model them in SolidWorks, to see if I could replicate them faithfully.
I only had a low resolution photo from a newspaper to use as the basis for the design and I think I made a decent first attempt. I did a little research and found that it came from the ‘Staffordshire Hoard’ of Anglo Saxon ornaments, coins and military objects from the 6 – 7th century.
Gold Wire Jewellery Techniques for Anglo Saxon Brooch.
After a little more digging I found a higher resolution photo and a few posts about how drawn gold wire was used to such stunning effect. Now my own work seemed really wanting in technique. I am going to find out more about gold wire craftsmanship and try to remodel it using the same techniques as the original artisan might have used. In fact, it always makes sense to follow the correct design technique rather than a ‘Looks alright’ method. It makes me realise how skilled and artistic the craftsmen must have been. And they made these wonderful artifacts without the use of compters at all!
Look out for a better model from me. I will still use ‘curve driven patterns’ but make more realistic ‘figure of eight’ drawn wire strings.
I am adding variety of 3D CAD Design Models to my website to showcase what can be achieved in designing organic shapes in SolidWorks. Most of the designs are parts designed as solid parts to show the design intent.
Curved Steel Door Handle, ideal for refurbishment work in most room styles.
I modelled this door door handle set as a reference for including in assembly models of door refurbishment. Because this is not meant as a production ready assembly, some of the detail parts ( spring, stop, Circlip and mounting screws) are not modelled.
If you require similar Door Handle Sets modelled, please get in touch by the website at Devon 3D CAD.
3D CAD Modelling in SolidWorks is not all heavy duty engineering. I have been experimenting by modelling more organic shapes like these cute little swimmers.
I based them on a cast iron paper weight, one of my favourite ornaments, so I had something to measure. Here are three of them, each given a different colour. It takes a while to change from straight line design to more organic shapes but it is great fun. This is a straight jpeg file from the raw CAD model, no Photorealistic Rendering package has been used.
I plan to model a lot more of these cute little fellas, so if you need 3D CAD modelling of Organic Shapes, please get in touch.