Friday, April 25, 2014

Make Do and Mend in the 21st Century

When the hinge at the bridge of a pair of Ray-Ban folding sunglasses broke rendering the glasses unwearable, the local optometrist couldn't order the spare part, and the Australian Ray-Ban site has nothing about spare parts or repairs (unlike the US site). I wondered at the time if it might be possible to make one with a 3D printer, but I didn't know anyone who had one.

A couple of weeks ago, I discovered that a friend's husband does. Today we took the glasses to show Rob, and although he explained that the original part was actually metal, not plastic, he was able to fairly quickly create the design in a CAD program (this evening I found that the design is actually available for download at Shapeways here, which would have saved this step), and print a plastic piece:
Amazing! It was fascinating to see the machine build it up layer by layer.

And here it is, installed in the sunnies:
Above, half open, and below fully-opened:
Expensive sunglasses wearable again, thanks to a little bit of plastic, a lot of expensive technology, and Rob!


  1. A lot cheaper than buying a new pair of sunnies!!

  2. That is AMAZING!!! I heard a lot recently about 3D printers but to hear of one in action in everyday life is so cool.

  3. Amazing was the first word that came to mind...but I see Cherry had beaten me to it! Lol. Well done, all involved in the restoration process.