Selective laser sintering process produces 3D-printed visor frame

Oct. 23, 2020
The visor frames were made using an additive manufacturing method and a new polyamide-based material with a dark black color.
Crp Face Shield

For over 40 years, Tecnoguarnizioni s.a.s (Soliera, Modena, Italy) has been producing industrial flat gaskets of all sizes based on the customers design. Now, the company is actively contributing to the fight against COVID-19 by creating new personal protective equipment (PPE).

The company’s project was the creation of two polycarbonate protective face shield models: one version for working environments and the other to meet the requirement of the CE Mark for medical devices. Both face protectors are equipped with a visor frame that, fastened to a rubber band, allows the user to wear the PPE while keeping their hands free to perform any action.  

To manufacture the visor frame, Tecnoguarnizioni turned to CRP Technology (Modena), whose technological solutions combine speed of execution and optimal performance. The company needed to quickly obtain functional prototypes of the visor frames in order to submit the final device to the CE certification process as soon as possible, and to finalize definitively the injection mold for industrial production to avoid changes that would have involved a huge waste of time and money.  

Visor frames were manufactured using the selective laser sintering (SLS) process and Windform FX BLACK, a polyamide-based material with a dark black color from Windform’s TOPLINE range of SLS materials. It is characterized with exceptional resistance to repeated bending and torsion. The material shows excellent impact resistance, even at low temperatures.  

Once completed, the visor frames were hand-finished by CRP Technology’s specialized workers, to simulate as much as possible the finish of the injection molding. This was possible thanks to the characteristics of Windform FX BLACK, whose consistency and behavior are similar to polypropylene and ABS injection-molded parts. The 3D-printed visor frames in Windform FX BLACK were attached to the transparent polycarbonate shields.  

Tecnoguarnizioni tested the visor frames to longitudinal traction test and, with regard to the side holes, to compression by manual tightening of screws and nuts. Sandro Righi, Tecnoguarnizioni CEO states, In addition, explains Tecnoguarnizioni CEO Sandro Righi, a certifying body tested the face shield to evaluate the quality of the protective shield-sheet. The visor in Windform FX BLACK proved to be capable and passed all tests, he says.

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