Barion Pixel

Impact resistant and lightweight hand protector for the automotive industry

The task
Prototech Ltd’s automotive customer is using several hand tools on its production line. The safety of the employees is a priority for the company, so they use protectors on the tools to prevent a wrong move from causing a hand injury. Workers use the protectors continuously over three shifts, so they need to be changed frequently. Since most protectors vary tool by tool, it requires custom design to produce them, so the best technology for this task is 3D printing.
The challenge
The automotive company has its own 3D printer and at the beginning they printed the protector from standard PLA filament. However, following the first tests, it became clear that although the protectors worked well, this filament was not perfect for the task. For example, if the wrench slips, the protector keeps the worker’s hands safe, but breaks easily. By printing the object thicker and thus stronger, their weight increased to an extent that was too heavy working with it for hours.
The solution
Prototech Ltd.’s task was to find a filament available on the market that was both more impact resistant than PLA and had the lowest possible density and thus providing the lowest possible weight of the printed object.They chose Filaticum Foam filament. This PLA-based hard foam has excellent impact resistance properties. And thanks to its foam structure, the density of the printed objects is much lower than that of traditional PLA filament.
The result
The protectors printed with Filaticum Foam have 2,5 times longer lifetime due to higher impact resistance, while their weight is almost 40% lower than an object printed with standard PLA filament with the same parameters.
Used filament

Filaticum Foam