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Land Rover Develops 3D-Printed Visor for Health Workers

  • Greg Fitzgerald
  • May 12, 2020

face shields made at Land Rover factory

 

As part of their contributions to the fight against the coronavirus, Jaguar Land Rover has been producing protective face shield visors that they designed to benefit health workers around the world. Designed with the assistance of the British National Health Service (NHS), they aim to make 14,000 visors a week.

The visors are made at JLR's Advanced Product Creation Centre in Gaydon. This is a new facility that opened in 2019, which is used to develop JLR's new technology in autonomy, alternative fuels, and safety. It also contains one of Europe's most advanced 3D printing facilities, which was being used to produce an earlier version of the face shields.

JLR has been producing the shields for about a month now, but recently they were able to massively ramp up production with new tooling provided by WHS Plastics, which has replaced 3D printing with injection moulding techniques to make the polypropylene plastic headbands. This new machinery produces one headband every thirty seconds, a far quicker rate than was possible with 3D printing.

The face shields comprise three main parts. The injection moulding machine makes a rigid headband, specially designed for comfort, as NHS staff have been wearing these for hours on end. The shield itself is clear chemically-resistant polycarbonate, trimmed to size and shape using a multi-cutter machine. The shield is held on by an elastic, with two adjusters that are moulded alongside the headband. All of the companies supplying materials and machinery are British.

 

JLR workers assembling face shields

 

The shields are designed to be disassembled for cleaning between uses, so that the NHS can avoid supply shortages in the future as the pandemic continues.

In the collaborative spirit that has been part of this global crisis, JLR has made the CAD files for the visors available to those who have the ability to manufacture them, anywhere in the world. If you have such capability, and want to get the files, you can request them at this link.


  • Written By
  • Greg Fitzgerald
  • Adventure addict. '90s Land Rover daily driver. Historic preservationist. Personal vehicles: 1994 Discovery I, 1994 Range Rover Classic, 1961 Series II.
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