Glasses fixer

Glasses fixer


Disclaimer

This essay does not describe an existing computer program, just one that should exist. This essay is about a suggested student project in Java programming. This essay gives a rough overview of how it might work. I have no source, object, specifications, file layouts or anything else useful to implementing this project. Everything I have prepared to help you is right here.

This project outline is not like the artificial, tidy little problems you are spoon-fed in school, when all the facts you need are included, nothing extraneous is mentioned, the answer is fully specified, along with hints to nudge you toward a single expected canonical solution. This project is much more like the real world of messy problems where it is up to you to fully the define the end point, or a series of ever more difficult versions of this project, and research the information yourself to solve them.

Everything I have to say to help you with this project is written below. I am not prepared to help you implement it; or give you any additional materials. I have too many other projects of my own.

Though I am a programmer by profession, I don’t do people’s homework for them. That just robs them of an education.

You have my full permission to implement this project in any way you please and to keep all the profits from your endeavour.

Please do not email me about this project without reading the disclaimer above.

This is only incidentally a programming project. It is mostly about mechanical engineering. People break their glasses, then take them into an optician for repair. The optician might spend 15 minutes an hour bending them back into alignment. He does not get paid for this service. It would be nice for him if he could just plop the twisted glasses into a machine that bent them back into perfect alignment is a few seconds.

The machine can be programmed with the ideal shapes of various frames just by inserted a properly aligned pair. It measures them with pressure sensitive arms. You insert a bent pair and tell it which of the models it knows to adjust toward. The machine does a plausibily check that you have specified the correct shape. It also displays a picture of the ideal frames for verification.

Ideally frames would have a bar code or some other sort of ID for the machine for error-free identification. Perhaps the optician could laser etch in id code on the frames at time of sale. The etching might also identify the owner of the glasses, much like an embedded pet id tag. You would have to maintain a central database of frame information and customer information.

It then presses the arms to the ideal shape. It then retracts them and measures. It detects the differences from the ideal and resqueezes overcompensating a bit. It repeats using ever stronger overcompensation until the frame springs back into the canonical shape. It might send a DC current through the frame to heat it to make it easier to bend. It is bends and twists the whole frame at once, in small increments, hopefully with less chance of the frame shattering.

The optometrist still has to manually repair any broken screws and damaged nose pads. It might be safer to pop the lenses out first.

Such a machine would have a very large market.


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