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Product Profile: Glasses V1

Product Profile: Glasses V1
Material: PA12 (Nylon)
Process: Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) 3D Print
Release Date: TBA

In January Garuda hired its first intern, his name is George (@whitewasonceblack). His industrial design degree required him to complete a 6-month internship and for some strange reason, he chose to intern with an apparel brand, being the only person in his class to choose this route. I receive two or three internship applications per week, I have never responded to a single one till George showed up. He mentioned his Instagram handle in his LinkedIn message and I recognised the handle because he’d said something on a Q&A I posted a few weeks prior. His LinkedIn message was also written purposefully and not just a copy-paste sent to 20 different companies so I decided ‘Alright let's talk to this kid and see what’s up.' I messaged him on Instagram and gave him a simple task to complete, he met the deadline and understood the task, a good start. So we next had a phone conversation and he explained he wanted his graduation project to be a piece of footwear and I was like ‘okay sure let's do it when can you start?’ 

Fast forward 5-6 weeks, George had been working for Garuda for 1 month, and we had produced the first footwear prototype. We FDM 3D printed an overshoe, why did we 3D print? Mainly we wanted to avoid the insane MOQ (minimum order quantity) that the footwear industry had. The overshoe turned out alright, not great not terrible, a proof of concept for sure but nothing more. So we had a conversation discussing ‘maybe 3D printing a shoe isn’t practical, at least not in FDM, so let's put this on the shelf for now. We can continue the project for your graduation project but maybe it is not commercially viable… but what else can we 3D print?’

Me: ’Doesn’t Mykita 3D print glasses?’
George: ‘Bruh’
Me: ‘Alright start designing glasses let's see what we come up with’

4 hours passed and we reviewed everything George had come up with while I was working with the tailors during those 4 hours.

Me: ‘okay we are thinking about this all wrong, let's examine the parameters we need to work within first, glasses need a screw and hinge that part is non-negotiable so let's start from there.’

Internal monologue: 

  1. ’okay just print a leg and a frame and add a metal screw, duh’
  2. ‘bro that sounds too easy, that’s corny, what if we 3D print the screw too?’
  3. ‘You can’t print a screw that small, even if you can how do you do the screw threads’
  4. ‘okay so just make the screw huge who cares, that sounds kinda hot’
  5. ‘isn’t that going to be kind of jarring?’
  6. ‘Nah, hot’
  7. ‘okay fine what about the rest of the design’
  8. ‘fuck it, just make the entire thing out of hardware-related objects since we are already blowing up the screw’


Me: ‘George, sketch a frame that’s made from 2 nuts like a nut that goes on a bolt, draw Allen keys for the legs, and a huge bolt going through the hinge’


George and I: ‘this is hot’ 

Me: ‘Okay 3D model it in Fusion, don’t take hours just do it quick so we get a better idea of the design then we can figure out the flaws later, download a 3D model of the following items: A pair of RayBans, a bolt and nut, and an Allen key then throw them all into one fusion file, place the RayBans then we can just place the other objects in relation to the RayBans then we don’t even have to figure out sizing and dimensions’


George and I: ‘this is hot’

Fast forward a couple of weeks and we received the 3D prints of the glasses in FDM, SLA and SLS. SLS was by far the best finish so we decided it was the route to go for. There were a bunch of flaws, we made the bridge too thin and it was fragile as hell, the legs didn’t fold past 45 degrees and some other stuff too. But they looked sick, we took them to a local optician to get lenses fitted in them so they could be wear-tested. The optician was gassing up the design, he said the material seems kinda weird but the shape is beautiful. Thanks dawg. 

Fast forward a few more weeks and we received the second prototype in which we fixed all the flaws, one new flaw came up but was minor and easily fixable. 

Internal monologue part 2:

  1. ‘Glasses come with a case, we should make a case’
  2. ‘Just buy a case from somewhere, or design it and get it made by a professional’
  3. ‘Nah already outsourcing printing, relying on other people is annoying let's just make the case ourselves’
  4. ‘What if we made a case from canvas, like a tool belt, since all the parts of the glasses are made from tools’
  5. ‘Oh shit, what if we disassemble the glasses and make compartments for each component like a real tool belt, and the customer can put them together themselves when they receive them’
  6. ‘That's a great idea Suhail, it will force customers to interact with the product and take a greater interest in it’
  7. ‘Thanks, Suhail’
  8. ‘You’re welcome Suhail’

We prototyped the case maybe 5 times before settling on this final two-fold design:

I talked to an LA-based artist (Oliver Kiyoshi Ono / @oliverono) about another project a month prior, which may or may not ever happen, but I wanted to work with Oliver and realised this was the perfect opportunity, since we were selling the glasses disassembled he could make an instruction manual for the assembly. Oliver knocked that shit out of the park:

Internal monologue part 3: 

  1. ‘Okay case is sick’
  2. ‘Okay artwork is sick’
  3. ‘Okay the glasses are si-‘
  4. ***imposter syndrome has entered the chat***
  5. ‘Suhail you’ve never made glasses before are you sure about this shit?’
  6. ‘What if they are trash, what if … you’re trash?’ 
  7. ***delusional confidence has entered the chat***
  8. ‘they are sick chill, you’ve been wear testing them for 2 months and everything has been fine.’
  9. ***Practicality has entered the chat***
  10. ‘Why do the legs go past 90 degrees?’
  11. ‘Nah that’s kinda hot’
  12. ‘Is it Suhail? Is it really?’

So we went and visited 4 local opticians and showed them everything, the case, the artwork and the glasses themselves for feedback. All the opticians gassed up the design. Our two main concerns were ‘is this beyond 90-degree thing an issue?’ And ‘are they sufficiently adjustable and strong?’

All the opticians agreed the strength and adjustability are acceptable, not amazing but acceptable, 2 said the 180-degree thing is fine, 2 said that is dumb.

And that’s where we are today. Will these glasses ever release? Am I an idiot? Will I strangle George if this doesn’t work out? 

Find out next time.


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