We wanted to create affordable glasses, based on existing glasses, but that are adjustable for every potential optic handicap. Obviously, they had to be self-made in order to make sure that any one could recreate what we did and reap the benefits of our work.
- Concept of the glasses
- Hardware construction and software Arduino
- Discussion et conclusion
1.Concept of the glasses
Our idea is inspired by the United Nation Sustainable Development Goals, specifically, good health and well-being (3) and reduce inequalities (10) without regard to ones geographical location or financial situation. Keeping this goal in mind, we chose to focus on the solution to a problem that is now common in developed countries but is still missing for too many in developping countries: glasses.
Indeed, the price of an ophtalmologist consultation + the price of adapted glasses grows to unaffordable heights very quick. In addition, in developing nations, particular rural areas, access to ophtalmologists is extremely rare. In some countries in sub-saharan Africa, there is only 1 optometrist for 8 million people. In comparaison, there is 1 ophtalmologist for 11 000 people in France. Therefore, we decided a simple protoype of self-adjustable glasses that you can build yourself would be an ingenious solution, allowing every person to adapt their glasses to their own eye condition, but also to perform re-adjustment whenever needed without buying new glasses.
We were inspired by existing products and existing techniques, that were more or less reproducible, and tried to produce a prototype at the cheapest possible price. We even went as far as buying one pair of glasses in order to discover what mechanisms composed it; since NONE of the products we found were open-source or shared even a hint about their technology, except images of course.
As a special feature that would make our project more original, we thought of adding built in lamps to the glasses. This would make sure our glasses could be useful at any time and would complete the optical theme that had founded our project. We also thought of making the lamps light progressively according to the obscurity of the environment in which they found themselves. Using Arduino and an Adafruit neopixel LED strip, we coded this feature and placed the strip onto the frame of the glasses.
We tore the adjustable glasses apart and noticed that they consisted of two pairs of lenses. Each pair was made of two lenses, with one lain on top of the other. Focus was adjusted by shifting the positions of the lenses in each pair. This was controlled by a two-way screw that made each lens move in an opposite direction to the other. We decided to recreate this technique at a cheaper price by 3D printing the frames and the lenses using a modified formlabs model.
2. Hardware construction & software Arduino
How to make the lenses ?
Print this modified model of lense from Formlabs (https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B-eg3h0bnTAUajlfbEJlMFVTbms?usp=sharing) with a Form 1+ SLA 3D printer and clear resin.
Put the lenses in isopropanol for at least 1 hour, and then leave to dry.
Place drop of Novus 3 heavy scratch remover on the lens and rub with a cork piece on both faces. Polish the lens with P280 sandpaper for 1 minute, reuse Novus 3 and re-polish for 1 minute with P500 sandpaper. Switch to Novus 2 fine scratch remover and do the same with P800 and P100 and finish with Novus 1 plastic clean and shine and P200 and P3000.
If you can't get your hands on the Novus products, you can replace them by polishing the lens under warm water, with sandpapers mentioned above. The whole process should take about 1h for one lens. After polishing, add a layer of transparent nailpolish (base coat is a good one).
We had initially designed a wooden frame using a laser cutter, but this was undapted to the project. Using Blender as a 3D modeling platform, we were able to design a frame for the glasses that we could 3D print(files in the folder). We built a frame that consisted of three encased cylinders. One would serve as the bridge for the wearer's nose, the second one inside would serve as a way of holding and moving the lens, while the third one inside the second one would hold the associated lens. This way, focus can be adjusted with the person's hands.
To this set up we added the stems done with the laser cutter(file in the folder).
And obviously a nose protector, so that it doesn't hurt too much !
All the Arduino is powered by a 9V battery that we put in a wooden box, but you're free to put it in anyway you wish (be creative)
We also decided to add an upgrade package to the glasses: a lighting station. The lighting station consists of an Arduino Leonardo hooked to a battery with a 5V regulator as an input. The device is also linked to a photocaptor to detect ambient luminescence and to an Adafruit Neopixel 60 LED coil. The arduino was coded in order to have the LEDs light up progressively according to ambient luminescence. The darker it is, the more the coil lights up, allowing the wearer to not only see better with glasses bit also with light when necessary. We added this new gadget to a larger frame that could placed on top of the one used for the glasses in order to have both features ready for use at any time, both at once.
5V(Arduino) -- Breadborad -- capacitor --LED STRIP
5V(capacitor) -- photoresistor
Ground(Arduino) -- Breadboard -- capacitor -- LED STRIP
Ground(capacitor) -- 220 Ohm resistance (photoresistor)
Ao(Arduino) -- Photoresistor
Pin6(Arduino) -- BreadBoard -- 430 Ohm resistance
Pin6(430 resistance) -- Pin(LES STRIP)
When we first 3D printed our lenses, we obtained an unclear lens. We spent long hours sanding the lens by hand and using a Bosch electric polishing tool, however the cloudy quality did not seem to dissipate or to yield an optical clear lens. We thought of abandonning this approach and buying a cheap two pairs of reading glasses from a local Parisian pharmacy and to tear them apart and retrieve their lenses. However, we tested several different polishing chemicals and managed to obtain increasingly clear results. The most satisfying product Mavala Super Base for Nail Polish. Placing the lenses for a longer amount of time in isopropanol after printing also helped us obtain better results, albeit with a slightly yellower tinge.
While designing the 3D frames, we encountered numerous obstacles that led us to simplifying the design multiple times. We also had to print out the model to test it several times before we were satisfied with the proportions of each component of our design.
While creating the Lighting stationw we also encountered problems. At first we had intended to use a SparkFun ProMicro 5V in order to have a smaller setup but that plan was abandoned because available computers were unable to upload our code to the platform. We therefore exchanged it for a more classic Arduino Leonardo.
4.Conclusions and Discussion
After realizing our project, we realize that there are still many improvements to be made. However, we can be sure that glasses nowadays can be made for much cheaper prices than we are used to seeing in the developed world and they can also be made in order to fit people universally rather than having one pair reflect one persons needs. Here we can find a solution to Presbiya and Myopia, as well as a large portion of the cost drivers in the manufacturing of visual corrections. Going further in order to make sure everyone has access to correct eye-care is a matter of quality of life, health, employment and many more aspects of the modern world that revolve around the UN SDGs.
AND NOW, ENJOY THE SWAG :