It’s always bugged me that everyone in the snow goggle game these days is bragging about their “frameless” designs, but every one of them still has a the same giant plastic frame as always, albeit hidden behind the lens. They’ve also added increasingly complex, and expensive, mechanisms to secure the lens now that it’s not held in place by an outer frame.
I’ve had this in my head for ages (even hacking together a physical proto last winter to make sure it worked), and I finally cranked it out over the past couple days.
Remove the plastic frame entirely and use the inherent strength of a spherical lens for the structure of the goggle. The internal plastic frame is replaced with die-cut EVA (which serves as an offset from your face, helping to prevent fogging), and the strap slides through cut-outs on the edge of the lens.
No plastic frame to end up in a landfill, plant-based resins (already being utilized in the sunglass industry) make for more eco-conscious lenses, and the only molds needed (for the strap attachments) are small and relatively low-cost. All this without sacrificing clean, modern style and quick-change lenses.
Are the Eva’s connected with adhesive? If so, you would basically just keep the strap if you wanted another lens hue/tint right?
Curious about the gaps in the EVA foam?
The simplicity of the strap lock mechanism is great.
Thanks. Yep the EVA would be connected with adhesive. The gaps are to allow venting, one of the few things a frame is good for. I made sure to register each EVA piece either with a corner or close to the center of the lens so they’d be easy to apply quickly and in the correct spot. The lens and various foams, then, are all one piece that can be swapped with straps as the user sees fit.
I am a huge fan of this idea, and think that this is a great project. If this came out, I am sure I would purchase some. Have you looked into how it would interface with a helmet? I worry that your version would not be as thick, and the foam would end up sitting off my face due to the helmet thickness. Also, I have taken some good slams to my face, and the structural rigidity of the frame surely saved some of my face. How do you suspect your version would hold up to a good direct hit? The strap mounts on the lens seem a bit thin (especially considering the lens strength), and I could see the strap being ‘ripped’ out of the lens. Could you reinforce the arms to add some strength to that area? Also, is there a reason you went under the lens as opposed to over? Im sure a model would be a simple way to test, but it may hug the face better by inserting the strap from the front and having it pull around the outside of the lens. Or they may pull awkwardly depending on the width or the product I suppose. Either way, it may be something you could easily test out, or plan for to fit slightly different size faces.
I have yet to use the frameless style goggle, so I am not 100% sure on how well they would hold up either. I currently use Smith Phenom and Oakley A Frame.
Thanks for the comments. These are definitely issues that have been knocking around my head since I first cooked this idea up a while ago. The EVA serves to offset the lens from your face the same way the frame would as well as providing impact protection. I opted to connect the strap through the back to keep it from pulling around the edge of the lens when it’s tightened. It keeps pressure off the very edge of the lens, where it would have the most leverage to bend the lens at the strap channel. As designed right now, I’ve had no problems with the lens on my physical proto (made from an Electric EG2 lens) breaking or bending around the strap channel. WYou do have the option to insert the strap from the front to better fit around a helmet, as the helmet and the small extensions at the ends of the strap locks keep the strap from pulling against the edge of the lens.
Again, thanks for the comments. Loving the feedback.
I have designed some goggles for Rossignol. I agree on your initial starting point, all the designs do is hide the frame behind the lens. The viewing angles are not bigger and in some cases reduced. However, you cannot underestimate the contours of the face and the pressure distribution of the foam and the stepped distribution that occurs across the layers of plastic and foam compressing towards the ultimate feel of something on your face.
The flexible frame and layers of foam form a suspension system between the pressure zones and a wide range of face shapes. From my experience, I see the described solution as lacking a fundamental part of what we designed into the pressure distribution system.
It may be possible with 3D structured foam of different densities to replicate the same distribution, but the complexity would be higher than what is shown in the rendering. Look at the actual shape of the interior surface of ski goggle foam for clues in this.
Thanks for the feedback, nxakt. Face, and especially nose, geometry definitely presents a problem for this system. I was really surprised, however, with how comfortable my hacked together prototype was, even without the addition of the EVA offsets. With your note, though, I’ll definitely get them on a few other people to see what they think of the fit. Thanks for the help.
Just a suggestion, find a good goggle, remove the fit foam from the frame. That surface is the “face last”, scan it and build a surface from the data, it is not exceedingly complex. You now have the basis to fit the spherical lenses and determine the gap.