US 3111790 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Nov. 26, 1963 s. H. VEGORS ETAL CONTACT LENS POLISHING APPARATUS 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Dec. 12, 1960 //v VEN TORs STANLEY H I/EGORS FRANK L. ARNOLD ATTOR/VE vs United States Patent 3,111,791) CGNTACT LENS POLISHING APPARATUS Stanley H. Vegors and Frank L. Arnold, Mason C ty, Iowa, assignors to Vego Incorporated, Mason City, Iowa, a corporation of lowa Filed Dec. 12, 1960, Ser. No. 75,421 3 Claims. (Cl. 51-105) This invention relates generally to material polishing machines and more particularly to an apparatus for polishing the edges of a lens.
At the present time the most widespread method of polishing the edges of contact lens subsequent to their being cut and prior to their use is by a manual process. Each lens is aflixed to the end of a shaft-like object which is held by the hand, and manually manipulated relative to a rotating bufllng wheel. Thus the resultant polishing depends primarily upon the steadiness of hand of the operator and is far from satisfiactory. It is, therefore, an object of this invent-ion to provide a novel mechanical apparatus for polishing a contact lens.
A further object of this invention is to provide a completely mechanical apparatus [for the precision polishing of a contact lens placed into the apparatus.
Yet another object of this invention is to provide a mechanical apparatus for rotatably holding a contact lens in juxtaposition to a polishing wheel, for simultaneously moving the lens toward and away from the wheel and back and forth in front of the wheel, and for simultaneously tilting the contact lens about both horizontal and vertical axes relative to the polishing wheel.
Another object of this invention is to provide a novel apparatus for polishing the peripheral edge of a contact lens, and particularly polishing the corners of the edge as opposed to the sides of the edge.
A further object of this invention is to provide a polishing apparatus capable of attaining the above-mentioned objectives which is economical to manu-fiacture, easy to service, and effective in operation.
These objects, and other features and advantages of this invention will become readily apparent upon reference to the following description, when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an embodiment of this invention, with certain parts broken away for purposes of clarity;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken along the line 2-2 in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary cross sectional view taken along the line 3-3 in FIG. 2, certain parts foreshortened for clarity of illustration;
FIGS. 4 and 5 are front elevational and plan views, respectively, of the polishing apparatus, showing only a rag wheel and an arbor unit for carrying a contact lens, the arbor unit being shown in alternate positions in both views; and
FIG. 6 shows a contact lens to full scale in front and side elevational views, and shows further in an enlarged sectional view an edge of the lens before and after polishing.
Referring now to the drawings, the buffing machine of this invention is indicated generally at 10 in FIG. '1 and comprises a base plate '11 having 'a polishing or buffing unit 12 mounted thereon. The base plate 11 also carries an arbor unit 13 for holding a contact lens 14 in a vertical plane and for rotating the contact lens 14 relative to a rag wheel 16 rotated by the bufling unit '12. The arbor unit 13 is mounted on apparatus indicated generally at 17 for moving the arbor unit 13 longitudinally of the base plate 11 or generally parallel to the axis of the buif ing assembly 13, and includes further apparatus indicated generally at 18 for moving the arbor unit 13 normal to or toward and away from the rag wheel 16.
In particular, the hufiing unit [12 comprises a right angular motor mounting 19 (FIG. 1) one leg 21 of which is secured to an end of the base plate 11 and the other leg 22 ot which supports a bracket 23 on which an electric motor 24 is mounted. The output shaftfpot shown) of the motor 24 is secured to a conventional coupling 26 to which is connected a spindle 27. The spindle 27 is rotatably mounted in a pair of spaced hearings (not shown) mounted in the bore of a spindle casting 28 secured at its bottom 28' to the base plate 11.
At the outer free end of the spindle 27 (FIG. 1), a pair of circular washers 29 (only one showing) clamp against either side of the rag wheel 16. As the inner surfaces of the washer 29 are inclined relative to their outer surfaces, and are parallel to each other, the rag wheel 16, although extended in a plane normal to the longitudinal axis of the base plate 11, is carried inclined to the axis of rotation of the wheel 16 to thus eifect a reciprocation of its working surface '15 relative to the lens 14. A dust cap 31 is inserted into each end of the spindle casting bore to protect the hearings in the spindle casting 28.
The apparatus 18 (FIGS. 1 and 2) for moving the arbor unit 13 and thus the contact lens 14 toward and away from the rag wheel 16 is mounted on a flat rectangular plate 32 (FIGS. 2 and 3) secured to the upper surface of the base plate 11. A pair of blocks 33 and 34 are secured each to a respective end of the plate 32, as best illustrated in FIG. 2, and include a pair of elongated slide pins 36 (FIG. 3) secured to and extended between the blocks 33 and 64. The pins 36 are normally horizontally disposed in a parallel spaced relation longitudinally of the base plate ill.
Slidably mounted on both slide pins 36 for transverse movement of the base plate 11 is a rectangular slide block 37 (FIGS. 2 and 3). In addition to the bores for the slide pins 36, the slide block 37 is provided centrally with an enlarged drilled bore 39* ending in a tapped smaller bore 41. An elongated hand screw 42, having a knurled knob 43 at one end, a shank 44 and a threaded portion 46 at the other end, is inserted through a bore 47 (FIG. 2) in a block 33, so that a shoulder 48 of the screw 42 abuts the outer side 49 of the block 33. The shoulder 48 is formed at the junction of the shank 4-4 and the portion 46 of the screw 42.
The threaded portion 46 of the screw 42 is extended through the bore 39 of the slide block 37 and threaded into its bore 41. Thus, with the inner end 51 (FIG. 2) of the hand screw 42 abutting against the other block 34, it can readily be seen that rotation of the hand screw 42 eifects a movement of the slide block 37 on the slide pins 36 which movement is transverse of the base plate 11. A coil spring 52 is shown encircling the hand screw 42 between the block 33 and the slide block 37, and biases the slide block 37 toward the bufiing unit rag wheel 16.
Mounted on top of and movable with the slide block 37 is the apparatus 17 which provides for longitudinal movement of the arbor unit 13 and the lens 14 back and forth in front of the rag wheel 16. This apparatus 17 includes also a flat rectangular plate 53 (FIGS. 2 and 3) which is mounted on top of a 'dust shield 54 of an inverted U-shape, both the plate 53 and the shield being secured to the slide block 37. At the opposite ends of the plate 53 are mounted a pair of blocks 56 and 57 (FIG. 3) and between which a pair of parallel, transversely spaced slide rods 58 and 60 (FIG. 2) extend. The rods 58 and 61) extend through a block 59 slidably mounted on the plate 53 and provided with parallel bores 61 for receiving the rods 58 and 60. The slide block 59 has also a central, vertically disposed bore 62 (FIG. 3) and a horizontally disposed threaded bore 63' (FIG. 3) formed in it, the
Patented Nov. 26, 1963 3 latter bore 63 extended through to register with the bore 62 and being parallel to and intermediate the slide rod bores 61.
To releasably lock the slide block 59' against movement along the slide rods 58 and 60, the block is provided with a projection 64 (FIG. 2) having a threaded bore 66 which is in communication with an adjacent slide rod bore 61. A hand rotated screw 67 is threaded into the bore 66 so that rotation of the screw 67 by finger manipulation of a knurled knob 68 at its exposed end, either tightens the screw 67 against the adjacent slide rod 58 (FIG. 2) to lock the slide block 59 in place, or backs the screw 67 off to unlock the slide block 59 for movement.
Pivotally mounted on top of the slide block 59 is a right angle bracket 71 (FIGS. 1 and 2) which serves as a support for the arbor unit 13. To mount the bracket 71 and another dust shield 72 on the slide block 59, a pivot pin 73 is inserted upwardly through the vertical bore 62 in the slide block 59 until a shoulder 69 formed on the pin 73 engages the underside of the block 59'. A screw '74 is inserted through aligned openings in a lower leg 76 of the bracket 71 and in the dust shield 72 for threaded engagement with the pin 73.
By this arrangement, the bracket 71 and thus the arbor unit 13 for carrying the lens 14 are freely rotatable about a vertical axis, that of the pin 73, for positioning the lens 14 in any one of several positions relative to the rag wheel 16, as best illustrated in FIG. 5. To lock the pivot pin 73 in one position and against rotation, an elongated hand screw 77 (FIG. 3) is inserted through a bore 78 provided in the block 57 and threaded into the threaded bore 63 of the slide block 59. A brass slug 79 or the like is placed in the bore 63 so that upon rotation of the screw 77 inwardly of the bore 63 it will force the slug 79 against the pivot pin 73 to frictionally lock the pin, while also preventing damage to either the pin 73 or the screw 77.
The pivotal bracket 71 includes an upper leg 81 (FIGS. 1 and 2) which has a horizontally disposed bore 82 formed in it through which a screw 83 having a knurled knob 90 extends. The screw 83 is threaded into an elongated adapter bar 84 (FIG. 1), whereby rotation of the screw in opposite directions either tightens the adapter bar 84 against the bracket leg 81 so as to lock the bar 84 in place, or disengages it from the leg 81 so as to permit a rotation of the adapter bar 84 about a horizontal axis, that of the screw 83, and in a vertical plane.
At one end of the adapter bar 84 is secured a bushing 86 (FIGS. 1 and 3) by a cap screw 87, and which bushing 86 is provided with a bore 85 closed at one end 83 and open at the other end 89 of the bushing 86. The bore 85 receives a reduced end $1 of a sleeve 92 in a telescopic manner, and by the provision of a short spring guide 93 and a spring 94 inserted into the bore 85 and a bore 96 formed in the sleeve 92, the sleeve 92 is rotatably depressible into the bushing bore 85. The spring 94 and the guide 93 are held in place between the closed end 88 of the bore 85 and a pin 97 (FIG. 3) inserted into the bore 96.
The sleeve 92 (FIG. 3), in addition to having the reduced end 91, has an enlarged end 98 provided with a bore 29 for enclosing and holding a bushing 101 stationary by a set screw 1132. A shaft 103 having an enlarged section 104 with a tapered recess 106 formed at one end, has also a reduced section 167 rotatably inserted into the bushing 191. The open end of the sleeve 92 is protected by a dust cap 108 which has a central opening for the shaft section 104-.
The telescopic movement of the sleeve 92 is governed by the coaction of a pin 169 (FIGS. 1 and 3) protruding from the sleeve and engageable in a right angular groove formed in the adjacent side of the adapter bar 34. One leg 111 (FIG. 1) of the groove runs parallel to the reciprocal or longitudinal direction of movement of the sleeve g2 and the other leg 112 runs parallel to the rotational or transverse direction of movement of the sleeve 92. When the bufiing machine 10 is in use as described hereinafter, the pin W9 is located at the inner end of the leg 111 as illustrated in FIG. 1, due to the force of the spring 94 against the pin 97. To retract the sleeve 22, it is pushed inwardly of the bushing 36 and then rotated so that the pin M39 is turned into the circumferentially extended leg 112, whereby the sleeve is locked in place. To unlock the sleeve 92, it is merely rotated until the pin 112% is in the ieg 111, whereupon the spring 94- forces it outwardly toward the center of the adapter bar 84.
At the left end of the adapter bar %4 as viewed in FIG. 1, a right angular bracket 113 is secured to the bar 84 as is also a tubular sleeve 114 (FIG. 3). The bracket 113 carries an electric motor 116 which rotates a belt for driving a pulley wheel 117 (FIG. 3). The pulley wheel 117 is mounted on a shaft 112 which is inserted through a pair of bearings 12.1 mounted in the sleeve 114, a dust cap 122 inserted in the inner end of the sleeve. The free end of shaft 119 has a tapered recess 123, both this recess 123 and the recess 1% in the other shaft 1113 adapted to receive a pair of chucks 124 and 126 (FIG. 3). The left chuck 124 as viewed in FIG. 3 has a concave face, and the right chuck 126 has a convex face so that with the aid of a material (not shown) having adhesive on both sides, the contact lens 14 can be affixed in a complementary manner to the face of either chuck.
Referring to FIG. 6, the contact lens 14 is shown in full scale in front and side elevational views, and shown in an enlarged fragmentary cross section of the edge 127 of the lens 14- before being polished. The lens 14 is illustrated in its concave-convex form which is the result of the lens 14 having been cut and ground to prescription, a sharp convex corner 123 and a sharp concave corner 129 resulting from the cutting. The rounding of these corners to the smooth curves 128 and 129' indicated by the dotted lines is the function of the buffing machine 19.
In use, after having been cut and checked by a secondary curve machine to ensure proper clearance between the lens peripheral edge and the eye for which it is being fitted, the lens 14 is aifixed to one of the chucks 124 or 126 (FIG. 3) and clamped between them as illustrated in FIG. 1. Both motors 24 and 116 are started, and the driving arrangement is such that the rag wheel 16 and the lens 14 are driven in opposite directions of rotation to reduce the heat on the lens edge 127. Too much heat during the polishing process could cause lens edge irregularities. It is recommended that the arbor 13 be tilted from the horizontal, as indicated by either the solid line outline of the arbor 13 in FIG. 4, or by the dotted line outline.
The tilting is accomplished by manipulating the knob (FIG. 2) to back off the screw 83, and then turning the arbor 13 as a unit to the desired position inclined from the horizontal. The purpose for the tilting is illustrated in FIG. 4, where, assuming that the lens edge 127 is in engagement with the rag wheel 16, it is readily observed that certain disc laminations 16a, 16b, etc. of the rag wheel are laterally separated by the inclined lens 14. Thus, as the laminations are caused to flare outwardly and to separate, they tend to frictionally engage only the corners 12% and 129 of the lens edge 1 27 rather than the sides 127' and 127 (FIG. 6). This separation of the laminations 16a, 16b, etc. provides for confining the polishing and buffing emphasis to the convex corner 128, when the lens 14 is tilted as indicated by solid lines in FIG. 4, and to the concave corner 129 when the lens 14 is tilted as indicated by dotted lines in FIG. 4, and is advantageous as polishing the sides 127' and 127 could change the power to which they have been ground.
In addition to using the machine 10 to tilt the arbor unit 13 from the horizontal or in a vertical plane, by backing off the hand screw 77 (FIG. 1) the bracket 71 can he pivoted so as to swing the tilted or non-tilt d arbor unit 13 in a horizontal plane, as best illustrated by the full and dotted line positions of the unit 13 in FIG. 5. Thus, it can readily be ascertained that as the laminations of the Wheel 16 move reciprocally back and forth relative to the lens 14, due to their mounted inclination, their action again emphasizes polishing the corners 123 and 129 rather than polishing the sides 1'27 and 127 of the edge 127.
For example, by rotating the arbor unit 13 about the pivot pin 73 (a 1G. 2) and then locking the unit 13 in the full line position of FIG. 5, the convex corner 12% (FIG. 6) of the lens edge 127 is disposed directly in front of the rag wheel 16. This provides for the working face 15 of the wheel 116 to emphasize polishing the convex corner 128 until it is rounded at 123 (FIG. 6). Alternately, upon rotating and locking the arbor unit 13 in the dotted line position of FIG. 5, polishing emphasis is directed to the concave corner 129 until it is rounded at 129' (FIG. 6).
As both hands of the operator are free to operate the buifing machine 10, the extreme adaptability of the machine ltl is emphasized by the ability to particularly move the arbor unit 13 and the lens 14 easily about both horizontal and vertical axes relative to the wheel 16. It can readily be appreciated that a skilled operator can thus actually roll the arbor unit 13 whereby its ends define parabolas, enabling the operator to emphasize the polishing of the lens 14 at his discretion While retaining a precision polishing.
In summation, an apparatus has been described herein which is capable of precision polishing the cut peripheral edge of a contact lens so as to round the corners of the lens edge to prevent irritation to the eyelid or to the eye during use, and further wherein the contact lens is precision polished by manual manipulation of the apparatus without manual contact with the lens.
Although a preferred embodiment of the invention has been described herein, it is to be remembered that various other constructions and alterations can be made within the scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.
1. An apparatus for polishing the peripheral edge of a contact lens comprising,
(a) base means,
(b) rotatable polishing means having a working surface and mounted on said base means,
(0) means reciprocally mounted on said base means for movement toward and away from said polishing means,
(d) arbor means for holding a contact lens in juxtaposed relationship with the working face of said polishing means,
(e) first means pivotally mounted on said reciprocally mounted means for movement about a vertical axis, and
(1) second means for pivotally mounting said arbor means on said first means for movement about a horizontal axis which intersects the vertical axis of said first means, whereby the ends of said arbor means are movable through parabolic courses.
ti 2. An apparatus for polishing the peripheral edges of a contact lens comprising,
(a) polishing means including a rag Wheel rotatably mounted at an inclined angle from the axis of rotation of said wheel, said rag wheel having a plurality of disc laminations,
(b) arbor means including rotatable elements for holding the contact lens adjacent said rag wheel, (0) means for rotating said rotatable elements whereby to rotate the contact lens in a direction opposite to the rotational direction of said rag wheel,
(d) frame means for supporting said polishing means and arbor means,
(e) means for moving said arbor means in a first direc tion toward and away from said polishing means, (f) means for moving said arbor means in a second direction normal to said first direction relative to said polishing means,
(g) means for moving said arbor means about a horizontal axis whereby said laminations of the rag Wheel are laterally separated from each other upon engagement by the contact lens edge, and
(h) means for moving said arbor means about a vertical axis which intersects said horizontal axis.
3. An apparatus for polishing the peripheral edge of a contact lens comprising,
(a) base means,
(b) first means including a pair of transversely extended, parallel rods spaced longitudinally of said base means,
(c) a first member slidably mounted on said rods,
(d) means connected to said first member for reciprocally moving said member transversely of said base means,
(2) second means including a second member slidably mounted on top of said first means for reciprocal movement longitudinally of said base means,
(1) third means including a bracket pivotally mounted on top of said second member for rotation in a horizontal plane,
(3) arbor means extended longitudinal of said base means and including rotatable elements for holding a contact lens centrally of said arbor means,
(11) means pivotally mounting said arbor means for rotation about a horizontal axis on said bracket,
(i) means for rotating said elements, and
(j) polishing means rotatably mounted on said base means in a plane extended normal to the longitudinal axis of said base means, said polishing means including a rag wheel having a working face inclined with respect to the axis of rotation of said polishing means so as to eilect a longitudinal reciprocation of said working face relative to the contact lens.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,052,110 Webb Feb. 4, 1913 2,203,003 Weber et a1 June 4, 1940 2,398,660 Michelsen et a1 Apr. 16, 1946 2,480,618 Tresidder Aug. 30, 1949 2,748,541 Connell June 5, 1956