Ed Wickens

Ed Wickens
Ed Wickens

Develop a tool for inserting magnets into recesses in the corner of glasses

3T are developing new Laser Sintered glasses frames, as designed by Ron Arad Associates, for PQ Eyewear’s ‘Swings’ range.  Part of the design requires recessed magnets, for which 3T needed a technique for assembly.  Ed was tasked with developing this, and came up with a two part tool to fit a press using Solidworks CAD. This was then sintered in nylon.  He added mistake proofing to the process, eliminate a checking step which made it leaner, quicker and easier, thus saving time and money.

The tooling needed to insert magnets into four locations, and on nine different frame designs.  The tool was designed with cut-outs and guides, ensuring that all four magnet locations in all the different frame styles could be inserted using the same tool.  To control the polarity of the inserted magnets, additional magnets were located in the tool, both holding the inserted ones in place as they moved into position, and also restricting their orientation.

Ed also created a reference pair of glasses with the relevant poles labelled so that the tool could be checked before use on customer parts, and to ensure consistency between batches.

The original design achieved all its objectives. All 400 magnets in the first order of frames were inserted by the deadline and without a single rejection. The process time per magnet was also less than a minute, saving significant labour compared to using pliers.  As a result the customer was very pleased with the parts and this has contributed to a good relationship likely to lead to future production runs of these products.

“Ed did well to use his initiative and the skills he has learned, whilst under considerable time pressure.  The project provides significant labour savings for the company and has the potential to create the competitive edge to secure sales over £370,000 this year”.

Dr Mark Beard, R& D Manager, 3T RPD Ltd.

Date published: 
July 9, 2013