When firefighters go into a rescue situation, two factors can make a huge difference to whether they come out again. How well they can breathe. And how well they can see. Design Reality, a UK based design consultancy, has recently used the Objet260 Connex multi-material 3D printer to design and prototype an improved version of gas mask respirators for the UK Ministry of Defence and US Fire Services.
When new safety standards in the US came into effect, Design Reality needed to make better gas masks to reduce CO2 re-breathe levels to below 1% with minimal component changes, to ensure Fire Departments could meet the new safety standards without excess cost.
Thanks to 3D printing, the team was able to develop the respirator rapidly. Designs went from CAD and stereolithography files in their Wales offices on Monday, to working prototypes ready for testing at their partner's facility North Carolina on Friday.
Using Objet260 Connex system the team were able to accurately prototype every single aspect of the mask, from the rubber seals to the rigid clips and fasteners to the transparent visor, said Stratasys. "And these rubber/rigid parts were printed together as a single homogenous piece - thereby eliminating the work of separately printing and gluing the different material elements of the mask by hand!"
Troy Baker, Managing Director of Design Reality tries out the new General Service Respirator
Their new gas mask respirators successfully exceeded the primary brief – CO2 re-breathe levels were reduced to 0.75%, and the need for a ground-up redesign was avoided. In addition, it provides also an improved comfort in-use, and a better field of view for the firefighter.
"The respirator is no mere gas mask." said Lord Bach, Minister for Defence Procurement. "It will give our troops unparalleled levels of protection in the field from all manners of threats."
Posted in 3D Printing Applications
Maybe you also like:
- Seattle Film Festival created classic moments in movies using 3D printing
- VEEMEE 3D Printer in PlayStation®Home
- Lexus' 3D printed giant puppet finds love in Daniel Kleinman's eye-opening spot
- Daniel Widrig to show off 3D printed design this week in London
- New disk-like invisibility cloak is 3D-printed 'Frisbee'
- The CAD files of first fully 3D printable gun are released
- US Senator Schumer calls for legislation to make 3D printed guns illegal
- 3D printed guitar now available with 76 pickup tones
- Say I Love You with a 3D printed red rose
- Artist Kevin Mack's latest 3D printed sculptures
- The world's first entirely 3D-printed gun is here
- Low-cost DARPA robot hand can pick up 50-pound weights