Body Armour Ltd

Body Armour Ltd, manufacturer of Canterbury Rugby
protective wear have come up with a new style of protective
head gear for rugby players.

After 5 years of Research and
Development, and a substantial
financial investment, Body Armour
established that the design worked
on the rugby field, but after much
difficulty in obtaining the accuracy
and translation of computer
generated design, had felt
they had “hit a brick wall”
with tooling production.

A key issue was the need to see
a finished product to check
it before making the final tooling:- a
classic but expensive chicken and egg situation. n.b investment to date...
$81,000 approx



3D Print Ltd were approached by
Body Armour Ltd CEO Bruce Armstrong.

  • 3D Print assessed the situation and analyzed all work to date.
    We identified areas that we considered would hamper production
    and reduce the lifespan of tooling in the existing design.
  • 3D Print redrew the tooling as per functional and foundry requirements
    taking extreme care to protect the improvements identified above.
  • 3D Print then printed a flexible “proof” of what the tools would produce
    once in normal production. This was done by simulating how the tooling
    would appear when closed under load in the press.
    We then isolated the cavity the tools would create, built a separate
    3D computer file of this cavity, and then printed the item using
    Elastomeric Resin in our 3D Printer.
  • This was then checked for errors or improvements and the
    tooling drawings were altered to suit.

Assemble the Team

  • Once alterations were accepted by Body Armour, 3D Print then
    printed solid patterns which were delivered to our foundry partner.
    48 hours later alloy castings were collected and delivered to the
    machine shop for mounting and guides to be installed.
  • Final testing of the initial set of tools is carried out 4 weeks after
    the first contact was made. The punch and die set is operating as
    per requirements. We are now printing the remainder of patterns
    required to produce 5 different sizes of this product.

After hitting the brick wall, this item is in full production within 6 weeks of 3D Print
getting involved. 3D Print was able to kickstart this project, enabling Body Armour
to deliver on time its international pre-sales of the head gear.

The profile expected to be generated by having the head gear worn by players
at the 2007 Rugby World Cup, will assist with generating future sales.
Now that a formula for tooling production has been developed, tested and proven
using 3D Print, Body Armour can go forward with new product research and
development, knowing they have an affordable, workable and timely solution.

For the full article, please download 3D Print Case Studies 2

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