Sunday, March 5, 2017

"Fast Glasses" For My Motorcycle Helmet

This past week I have been able to make some really nice progress with my motorcycle helmet eyeglasses mounts project.  Let me first explain a bit about what this project is and why I am at this point very focused on getting it right.  As many of you already know I drive a motorcycle and have done so for many years.  With those years I now have aged to the point where I need to wear glasses. I cannot wear contacts and do not want to get Lasik eye surgery.  The problem I have with wearing glasses especially when I wear my helmet is putting the glasses on or taking them off once I have my helmet on.  To say that this simple task is a pain is no understatement in either the literal or figurative sense. So I've decided to create magnetic mounts for my glasses that will attach to the inside of the helmet and eliminate this hassle and speed up the process of putting my glasses on or taking them off when I want to ride my bike.

Here is where I started as you may have already seen in my last post.  I created the image shown above of a guy wearing glasses that are mounted to the inside of a motorcycle helmet.  A nice picture but not a lot of details were learned from this image at this point as to how to make this idea even possible to work.  This entire past week or more has been spent working out some of the bugs to the idea and I think I have it pretty well ironed out.

I started with my every day glasses and took careful measurements to get just the frame where the lenses are installed into my computer design software.  This was the simplest part of the project.

Next I laid out a simple framework that would be mounted to my motorcycle helmet.  Again a simple step but no real answers at this point.  More brainstorming was needed.

The first version of the magnetic glasses looked pretty good.  I had found some small magnets in my workshop and again went to work on the project using my design software. After some research online I pretty much gave up on the idea of 3D printing the frame that holds the lenses. It would be far simpler just to make a design that used the existing frames with mounts that attached to them. This design idea started to look doable at this point.  The square blocks at the rear of the frame would be mounted to the interior of the motorcycle helmet using Velcro straps which would be fed through the blocks to secure them.  Magnets would be also mounted on the face of the blocks to hold the glasses mounts. The glasses mounts that you see above have a round magnet in them and a slot that allows the glasses to be adjusted in or out so the glasses are the right distance from my eyes. Not to close or not to far away.  A key feature that needed to be addressed.  This looked good but I wanted the entire assembly to be more streamlined and lighter looking. To bulky looking at this point.

I continued on and took the design to the next version by removing some of the material at the face of the glasses mounts.  This again looked pretty good but being me I was not yet happy with the look of the design.

In the next version I changed the magnets to be smaller and be about the size of a watch battery. There would be two magnets in each of the red helmet mounts and another two in each of the now corner shaped glasses mounts. The streamlining was starting to take shape at this point.

Here you can see the magnet layout for the assembly in the two red helmet mounts. I also removed the  corner brace that I had in the now "L" shaped glasses mounts.  Also in the photo you can see the screws that would hold the glasses to the "L" shaped mounts and the Velcro straps that hold the helmet mounts in place.

Having found different magnets I came up with this similar design that uses not eight tiny round magnets but only four rectangular ones instead. This made the "L" shaped glasses mounts a little bit longer in the process but eliminated parts along the way. This layout was also rejected as it did not fit well within the area that I could use inside of the helmet.

This is version number six. I got rid of the "L" shaped glasses mount and turned the section that holds the magnet in place to a vertical orientation. This in turn allowed more room in the helmet and the red mounts only needed to have the matching orientation set up to have the assembly work properly.

At this point I was able to start 3D printing parts and testing out the placement and installation into my motorcycle helmet.  Here you can see the helmet mounts that are held in place using Velcro strips. The Velcro strip worked perfectly to hold the mounts securely in place. The photos show the 3D printed parts being kind of shiny.  The magnets were held in place using clear tape at this point. This is only because I did not want to permanently mount the magnets into the 3D printed parts until everything was designed and working properly.

This is the way the assembly looks with my glasses magnetically clicked into place. The screws that hold the glasses to their mounts were replaced with simple wire clips that I modified from paperclips. The paperclips I used have a red plastic coating on them.  I removed some of the coating to allow the wire to easily be installed through the mounts as well as the screw holes where the arms for the glasses would normally be.  (The arms were removed as the were not needed in the assembly).

I took the eyeglass assembly out of the helmet and then put it on.  I then grabbed the middle of the eyeglass frame between the lenses and brought the assembly to my face.  With one single click the glasses popped into place perfectly.  Comfortable and secure my idea worked! I was tickled with the results as I knew that I had the answer to my motorcycle glasses problem.  But as before I continued to tweak the design to iron out one last little bug.

The eyeglasses mounts and helmet mounts worked like a charm but they were still a bit to bulky for my taste. I wanted something a bit more refined, lighter, and smaller. Also I did not like how the setup partially  blocked my side views while wearing them in my helmet. Not that the side views were like wearing blinders but they still restricted my views enough to be a distraction.  On to design number seven.

With this latest and hopefully final design I once again cleaned up the look of the project. The glasses and helmet mounts would still use the small rectangular magnets but instead would keep the glasses mounts at only 1/2 inch thick instead of one inch from earlier concepts.  The magnets would be mounted to the outer face of the yellow mounts and the blue helmet mounts would hold the mating magnets on the inner face so the glasses could once again be clicked into place quickly and easily.  These changes allowed for the square area of the helmet mounts to be thinner at the rear and still keep the helmet mounts the same 1/2" thickness as the glasses mounts.

Here's a good shot of the new mounts in my helmet.  With the square block at the rear of the mounts being thinner than before they are no longer visible out of the side views when I put my helmet on.  I only see the 1/2" tall magnet mounts sticking out on each side of the helmet.  This is a much cleaner assembly and does not block my side view as it did with the larger mounts that I had in an earlier version.

This is how the assembly will look once I get it ready to be installed into my helmet.  It is a nice clean design that I now will look forward to use when I put my glasses on or taking them off when I want to ride my bike.  Total time to put my regular glasses on while wearing my helmet took me at least a minute or more. Way longer than it should ever take.  With this new setup my glasses now go on in about a second.  Click and their on and I'm ready to ride!  Works for me. 

I am due to get new glasses in the next week or so.  Perfect timing for this project to be sure. I will use my old frames for this project and get new ones with my new glasses and new lenses for my new motorcycle "Fast Glasses". (Catchy name don't you think?) Once I get the new glasses I will make final tweaks to the fast glasses mounts and I should be good to go. I'll post another update when I get the final assembly put together.  But at this point I see no real issues with the design that would cause a problem with completing this project.  Stay tuned for further developments. 😀

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