3D Printing Glasses: First Run Results

Fun day at DeltaMaker this week, got to print myself a pair of glasses!

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Yes, they’re way big on me. But it was a decent first test run to see what printed glasses look and feel like. Credit to Beehive for uploading the 3D model! The model can be found here on Thingiverse.

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The glasses were printed face down and needed support structure due to the nosebridge being slightly curved outward. Still have many pieces of support structure to pry off, but the majority of the support was removed using an exactoknife.

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Inside is much smoother which is needed since it’ll be the surface against your face. The temple pieces did come to a point so I had to be careful sliding it on and off.

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We cut some paperclips to use for makeshift screws. It has a simple 3 barrel hinge which works, but is very weak and fragile. I would recommend going with 5 barrel metal hinges and just leaving space for them in the model. Printed hinges are just too weak for everyday use.

As you can see quality is pretty rough. It was done in .2mm print layers, a standard quality for personal printers, such as the DeltaMaker. We can go as low as 1mm (100 microns) but it’d take a little longer to print.

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Printing the support structure first.

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Good view of the support structure with the glasses sitting on top.

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The glasses were printed on a beta DeltaMaker using our own PLA (only $39 a spool!) with a printing temperature of 230º C. The infill density has slipped my mind… It took about 3 and a half hours to print.

The frames are also tracer ready so if you want to put lenses in these, find a local optometrist who “traces” the frames and cuts their own lenses.

If I were going to wear this in public, the first thing I’d do is lightly sand the printed surface and then watch this video.

If you don’t have time to watch the video, here’s the gist of it:

  1. Apply many light coats of primer. This will fill in the tiny holes and crevices of the printed surface and help the paint stick better.
  2. Next, apply a few coats of paint. The person in the video uses Krylon fusion.
  3. Finally, apply a few coats of acrylic clear-coat. This will give your printed model a shiny, glossy look that stays over tim

I’ll try this finishing technique and post the results with pictures right here – be sure to subscribe.

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