SOLIDWORKS – Designing a Custom Lens Mount

by Ryan Dark

Designing a Custom Lens Mounting Clip

It’s time for another fun project! Let’s build a custom mounting clip that will attach a wide-angle lens to a pair of glasses with a built-in narrow-angle camera in them.  The purpose of these glasses is to fit inside a helmet and provide video recording for action sports.  Below you will see the glasses and lens.

Lens

Figure 1: Forestfish Bluetooth Sunglasses (720p @ 30 fps) and a Vteyes 198° Fisheye Lens

Design

Preliminary testing of the lens temporarily mounted on the glasses showed that the field of view was substantially increased as you will see in the images below.  In the photos below, you will see the stock field of view and the boundary of the stock field of view imposed on the wide-angle field of view.

Lens

Figure 2: Stock field of view (left) and wide-angle field of view (right)

 

 

What are we working with?

The lens we are using was originally made for use with cell phone cameras. It came with a modular mount that allowed the lens to clip onto any phone.  The portion of the clip that attached to the lens became the base of the new clip design for attaching to the glasses as you see below.

Lens

Figure 3: Stock lens mounting clip (left) and the initial SOLIDWORKS mockup mount

 

The attachment to the lens has now been duplicated and we can now focus on the placement of the fastening hooks for attaching elastic bands.  Each successive design was 3D printed for fit testing and refinement on the design.  The first two iterations of the mount revealed fit issues with the initial placement locations of the hooks. What was the problem? The hooks would interfere with the lens.  The third iteration lengthened the hooks to remove the interference. On the fourth and final design, we made slight alterations to the hooks. The previous iterations were causing the elastic bands to pull the lens off center of the camera.

Lens

Figure 4: 3D prints of all four mount test designs

 

 

 

 

Lens

Figure 5: Final SOLIDWORKS mount design

And the result is…

As a result of this iterative design process the camera glasses, while silly looking, have a far more functional wide field of view.  In a day’s work, the design process to include the 3D prints were complete. Each print took about an hour to complete and a few minutes extra for each test and redesign.

Bonus

A design is not a purpose unto itself. We had to go ahead and test this setup in the field (or the sky, really).

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