3D Printing: CALT Dynamics Face shield

CALT Dynamics went from concept to mass production on their Face Shield with feedback from frontline workers using rapid product development techniques and their 3D printing technology in record time. The feedback from the frontline and the community has been phenomenal.  CALT Dynamics created one of the first reusable EN2016/425 approved PPE face shields for health services and business. 

This is how and why they did it... 

Thank you and the team there so much. The nurses are so happy to have them."
Patrick Fahey, Director of Holy Family Nursing Home

A global PPE shortage 

As the pandemic spread west from China and logistics became more difficult, the need for PPE manufactured locally was becoming greater by the day. CALT Dynamics recognized this threat to the frontline and community so they started creating concepts for a Face Shield that could aid in the fight against COVID-19. CALT Dynamics creates 3D printing technologies so designing a 3D printable face shield meant they could immediately start producing prototypes and gathering feedback. 

prototyping

To move through the prototyping process quickly, the company used rapid manufacturing technologies coupled with intensive user feedback, straight from the frontline. Answering the call of hospital staff, the company immediately offered its services as a Face Shield manufacturer. Having input from virologists, doctors and nurses from the start of the design phase meant that each iteration of the product was closing in on the final design rapidly. Days after concept art was created, there were CALT Dynamics Face Shield prototypes being used in A&E wards.

Feedback is critical when dealing with critical care

Getting feedback directly from the frontline meant that CALT Dynamics could quickly iterate using technologies developed at the company. Using low cost printing methods to start with , the company scaled their production by later graduating on to more industrial techniques. The feedback from the professional users on the frontline was incredibly insightful and continually improved the product. 

Straight to hospital

Face Shields started being produced in larger batches so they could gather even more feedback from a broader audience before finalizing the design. 

CALT Dynamics PPE face shields are front page news

Many CALT Dynamics customers found their Face Shield after the lovely story about them in the Irish Examiner and the work they had been doing designing them for some time.
The outbreak of COVID-19 sparked a global shortage of Personal Protective Equipment. Modern supply chains mean that most PPE is made in a few places, none of them nearby.
The call went out from Ireland’s health service for local manufacturers to step up and fill the gap. CALT Dynamics has been happy to help. The company dedicated time and expertise to the design and prototyping of high quality face shields. We donated thousands of Face shields to hospitals and nursing homes during this time. 

product development

Closing the top section of the Face Shield was the much preferred design by virologists. Careful contouring of the shield itself ensures it stays fog free in this configuration. The head strap material and design were also updated to suit mass manufacturing and minimize cleaning processes. The team also altered the design as many users were required to wear a hard hat in a professional setting so it ensured the visor design could be adapted to fit a hard hat.

Scaling production

Each stage of the Face Shield product development needs special consideration from a design perspective from the outset. The shape of the Face Shield was designed to be easily castable. This meant that CALT Dynamics could utilise their 3D printing techniques to increase production by hundreds of percent within 1 week of moving to 3D batch manufacturing.

casting

Using a large scale photopolymer printer meant we could create multiple moulds at a time and significantly increase the output based on the 3D printer's manufacturing speed. The white shield seen here has been cast, it has similar mechanical characteristics to the 3D printed edition. This is the kind of expertise that allowed CALT Dynamics to rapidly develop the Face Shield.

The Frontline

The wonderful feedback from the brave people on the frontline spurred us on...

Before we set the mould

Our printers were then utilized to 3D print a high temperature polymer mould to closely simulate the final product by injecting the end-use polymer into the mould. This allows a small run of parts to be produced for testing and evaluation before making a mould that's capable of mass production.

clear component updates

The headstrap material was changed to an alcohol safe material that's easy to wash and there are design updates to suit mass manufacturing, the next step in the scaling of production for this product. 

Scaling to mass production

Going from tens, to hundreds, and finally thousands of Face Shields per day in a matter of weeks is no mean feat but the results are exceptional. 

How its made 

An all Ireland effort followed, the manufacturers of Ireland stepped up and we created an excellent product in record time.

Category III PPE - the highest rating for face shields

The Face Shield is light, it doesn't fog up and you can completely forget you're wearing it sometimes.
PLEASE NOTE - even with increased manufacturing, quality PPE is still in short supply. Order from us as soon as you know your needs.
  • Light weight - suitable for all day wear
  • Reusable & washable - headband can be worn long term by a single employee and washed with alcohol or warm soapy water
  • Replaceable visor - IPA safe crystal clear visors can be replaced after use
  • Adjustable headband - to fit all head sizes
  • Closed top section - for added protection                  
  • Anti-Fog - treated material to prevent misting
  • Foam comfort pad - for increased duration of wear
  • Eyewear compliant - fits over glasses



Testimonials

Thank you and the team there so much. The nurses are so happy to have them."
Patrick Fahey, Director of Holy Family Nursing Home


We are delighted with the face shields to be honest, we feel more protected going into patients, and also patients feel more protected from us. They are so easy to assemble and can be wiped down,thank you from all the staff in community intervention team, feeling more protected "
Melissa Coughlan, Community Intervention Team Health Service Executive 


They are great, the Staff are delighted.... Best of luck and thank you so much."
Dr John Hastings, GP

The face shield is comfortable to wear, while at the same time giving excellent personal protection. It's an added protection for those doing family shopping or carers doing shopping for those cocooned and easily available to the general public."
Kathleen Kelleher, Greystones Town Councillor

About us

A WORLDWIDE EFFORT TO CONTAIN THE CORONAVIRUS

A few months ago many people hadn't heard of PPE, now businesses of all kinds have a responsibility to protect people from becoming infected. Learn more about what kind of PPE you need.