CRP Technology manufactures 3D printed visor frame
(Left) Tecnoguarnizioni PPE, Safe4U protective face shield (black). The functional prototypes of the visor frame were made by CRP Technology using selective laser sintering and Windform FX BLACK polyamide-based material. (Right) 2.Tecnoguarnizioni PPE, Safe4U+ protective face shield (white). The functional prototypes of the visor frame were made by CRP Technology using selective laser sintering and Windform FX BLACK polyamide-based material.
Courtesy Tecnoguarnizioni

CRP Technology manufactures 3D printed visor frame

Made in Italy protective face shields produced through selective laser sintering process and Windform FX BLACK polyamide-based material.

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Tecnoguarnizioni s.a.s (Soliera, Modena, Italy) for more than 40 years has been producing industrial flat gaskets of all sizes based on the customer's design.

In this period of major global crisis and health emergency, it is actively contributing to the fight against COVID-19 by creating new personal protective equipment (PPE).

The project
Tecnoguarnizioni's project consisted in the creation of two polycarbonate protective face shields models: one version (named Safe4U) for working environments; the other one (Safe4U +) to meet the requirement of the CE Mark for medical devices.

Both face protectors are equipped with a visor frame which, fastener to a rubber band, allows to wear the PPE while keeping your hands free to perform any action.

For the manufacture of the visor frame, Tecnoguarnizioni turned to CRP Technology and its technological solutions that combine speed of execution and optimal performance.

The Soliera-based company needed to obtain quickly the functional prototypes of the visor frames, in order to submit as soon as possible the final device to the CE certification process, and to finalize definitively the injection mold for industrial production, to avoid changes which would have involved huge waste of time and money.

More specifically, Safe4U is a personal eye and face protector, holed visor frame, with adjustable and transparent shield. It protects against high-speed particles, medium energy impact ( 120 m/s ).

It has a flip-up and replaceable shield and an easily adjustable elastic band.

Safe4U+ is a personal eye and face protector, with a bigger, replaceable, flip-up shield and with-no-hole visor frame. It is a CE certified model for use in healthcare settings, medical facilities and hospitals, as it is suitable for the mandatory requirement of protection against drops and splashes of liquids.

It protects against high-speed particles – low energy impact ( 45 m/s ).

Both protective face shields comply with the specific requirements provided for by the connected harmonised standard EN 166:2001 as PPE Cat. 2, Optical class 1. They can be easily disinfected/sterilised and reused.

Solution
The examination of the 2D and 3D files of the visor frames led the CRP Technology’s 3D Printing Department team to identify in Selective Laser Sintering and Windform® FX Black the manufacturing process and the most suitable material to meet the request of the customer.

"We decided to rely – says Tecnoguarnizioni CEO, Sandro Righi - on professional 3D printing technology for the speed of execution, and on CRP Technology as manufacturer. We had heard about CRP Technology in terms of competence, reliability and professionalism. All qualities that we confirm! "

Visor frames have been manufactured using Windform FX BLACK, a new generation polyamide based material with a dark black color from Windform TOP-LINE range SLS materials. It is characterized by exceptional resistance to repeated bending and torsion. The material shows excellent impact resistance even at low temperatures.

Once completed the manufacture of the visor frames, they 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 moulded parts.

Result
After being shipped to the customer, the 3D printed visor frames in Windform FX BLACK were attached to the transparent polycarbonate shields.

Tecnoguarnizioni team tested the visor frames to longitudinal traction test and, with regard to the side holes, to compression by manual tightening of screws and nuts.

"We are very satisfied with the results obtained,” says Sandro Righi, CEO Tecnoguarnizioni. “Thanks to CRP Technology and its AM solution we have achieved speed of execution, remarkable precision and, regards the components, lightness and flexibility.”

Both PPEs are equipped with an elastic band. Its length and tension are variable by means of two buckles placed at the end of the visor frame. Two siding knobs act as fixing mechanisms and allow the adjustment of the orientation hardness of the shield when rotated upwards .

The face shield resists to lifting from involuntary gestures, but at the same time the shield can be lifted easily, with a maximum angle of 180°. The visors in Windform FX BLACK have fully satisfied our requests and needs.”

"In addition, a certifying body tested the face shield to evaluate the quality of the protective shield-sheet: again, the visor in Windform FX BLACK proved to be capable, and the tests were brilliantly passed,” Righi says.