Up Shield | Face Shield Designed by Rapid Prototyping Company

Up Shield | Face Shield Designed by Rapid Prototyping Company

Client

In March 2020, on the rise of the COVID-19, LA NPDT, a product design company, took note of the shortage of personal protective equipment. As part of our initiative to assist during the pandemic, we utilized our expertise and capabilities as a rapid prototyping company to deliver face shields for medical facilities.

We searched the face shields that were already on the market at that time. Based on the research, our engineers and designers considered all sensitive aspects of the development and manufacturing process. The main two aspects were lead time and raw material availability and began to design the first model.

The united effort and coordinated teamwork of our professionals allowed us to donate the first set of UPShield face shields within three days. In the following two weeks, we added necessary iterations to the design based on the end-users feedback, which helped us meet the ever-growing demand.

Challenge

Time was our main challenge, production and assembly time in particular. The medical staff needed the shields to come in one piece and ready to be used right away. The assembly required a lot of human resources, so the LA NPDT team worked hand-in-hand for 72 hours to put all the parts together.

The availability of raw materials presented some challenges as well. At that time, PLA plastic for 3D-printing and other materials that we needed, were in high demand across the market. Our designers took that fact into account during the design development and later when making iterations to it.

The time aspect also applied to marketing a new product. Our PR & Marketing team has made sure that the process of development and production was covered in different social media platforms, including local broadcasters. That made it easier to increase market awareness about the incoming product, as well as to create a target audience around it. Watch the news video coverage to see the development process


Solution

In order to accelerate the printing process of the shield’s plastic parts, we used all of our printers at once. Our 3D printing company uses equipment like Creality CR-10, SeeMeCNC Artemis, and Raise3D Pro2 Plus. After making the first prototype we found the solution to reduce the production and assembly time, as well as the usage of materials in two steps.

Our team of product developers reduced plastic bandwidth. It allowed us to double the printing speed by fitting more prints on the bed and, therefore, utilizing less plastic. It also made the shield lighter, which was appreciated by the end-users. Secondly, the shape of prongs was changed for easier assembly and overall use of this feature. 

Read our Case Study to learn more about LA NPDT team’s approach to the UPShield development process.

The production process in general required a lot of time-consuming manual labor. For example, UPShield design has a round-edged protective screen, but the plastic is manufactured in square sheets. We needed to cut the edges manually.  

To tackle the challenge of speed and precision of the cutting process, one of our engineers came up with a simple but creative solution. We mapped the table with blueprints of the precise size and shape of the screen, which accelerated the working process of that stage.


The Result

During the product design and development process, LA NPDT team was able to create a highly demanded PPE of great quality in a short time. We minimized the raw material consumption for production. Improved printing time by 30%. Reduced the weight of the product that brings optimal comfort for users, and the assembly time, which helped to meet the growing demand in time.

The UPShield design is available on our website https://lanpdt.life/upshield for everyone who has the capability and is willing to assist the medical community worldwide in fighting this pandemic, or needs the face shields for other applications.  


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