While these may just look like some pretty boring 3D printed glasses, there’s actually a lot more going on than meets the eye. Researchers at the University of Newcastle asked me to CAD model a copy of the SMI Eye Tracking Glasses to be 3D printed. The reason: the real glasses cost around $12,000, and before they let their subjects loose with them, they want to give out 3D printed sets to become accustomed to prior to donning the real set. Sounds like some clever thinking to me, and just another great application of 3D printing.
Unfortunately all I had to work with were 4 rough dimensions and the images on SMI’s website, but I think these should be close enough for this particular application. I’ve modeled them to be 3D printed in a complete assembly using SLS, meaning that there is no assembly required and the hinges are less likely to break. Through Shapeways my set come in under $25! However in order to test my model, I’ve chopped it into pieces to allow printing on my Up! Plus 2 home printer, which is too small to print the glasses in one go. The first image above shows all the individual pieces, with the 2 frame pieces already glued together through the nose section.
The only nervous moment was gluing the end-caps of the frame with the arms inside (creating the trapped hinge motion), since it would be very easy to accidentally glue the arms at the same time! There are also a few distorted sections where the prints lifted off the printing plate slightly during the print – but again, this one is just to test how accurate the 3D model is, with the final prints being sent away for SLS printing. I wonder if a company like SMI should be supplying something like this as part of their kit?… Food for thought with the ease at which the files can be 3D printed.
While I can’t share the files for this design, if you’re after some glasses you can 3D print why not start by checking out a previous project where I 3D printed new arms for my aviators? I’ve shared the files on Thingiverse so anyone can make them.
– Posted by James Novak