MAFEPE manufactures clothes & gloves for hard work environments for 20 years. MAFEPE was the first company to legally certify work gloves in Spain in 1994. Since 2 years, Dynamical 3D work with a design for 3D printed reinforced finger tips. In the beginning, MAFEPE used CNC milled aluminum reinforcements, making this product too expensive for the market. Now, thanks to 3D printing and the Dynamical 3D redesign, a viable and attractive product has been achieved both for the manufacturer and for the market.
3D PRINTED REINFORCE FINGERTIPS
We started making 3D printed FDM fingertips, but to achieve similar strength to the original CNC was hard because the non-isotropic properties of this technology. Then we switch to Carbon DLS and things start to work much better.
At the first stages of the design there was thicker walls, but we get the same strength as CNC parts with those reinforced lines and thinner walls. We adjust the endurance of the fingertips with 4 design iterations and pressure test in record time.
There is not a user custom design. We print only two different parts, one bigger for the thumb and another one smaller for the rest of the fingers.
How did Mafepe implement 3D printing?
Unlike other difficult to print or post-process projects, this project printed with EPX82 material was easy to print and with great repeatability. Given the proportions of the parts to be printed, they allow a good use of the printing volume and thanks to this a reduced cost compared to injection molding or CNC machining.
These gloves are a very specific product and there are no large runs, making them an ideal candidate for additive manufacturing on demand in small batches, reducing storage costs for large quantities of machined parts, and the possibility of making changes between different batches.
- Reduce the manufacturing cost of the reinforcements.
- Maintain physical properties of the original Aluminum CNC parts.
- Create an easy-to-manufacture product using 3D printing.
- Redesign the part for additive manufacturing
- Isotropic properties of the Carbon DLS printed parts.
- EPX82 high impact strenght (23 j/m ASTM D256 & 88 Mpa ASTM D638)
- A good nesting to reduce the cost per part
Nowadays there is no special regulations about protective gloves and crush protection capabilities.
MAFEPE is in conversation with insurance companies trying to get a rough estimate of accidents at work with damaged fingers by crushing, to push the competent authorities to make some legislation about dangerous task and hands protection, as the actual laws about the boots needed for work in dangerous places.
Data from insurance companies said that 40% of the accidents are in arms and hands.
There are European regulations that deal with some types of work such as woodwork with chainsaws (standard EN 10819), but a large number of jobs such as pruning with electric shears, with very high safety risks, are in a legal limbo in which there is no regulation that indicates the degree of protection and the tests they should pass. MAFEPE has presented these gloves that have and comply with the EN388: 2016 standard for mechanical risks, but do not contemplate any specific standard about personal protection elements, such as protective footwear that are legislated.
At MAFEPE they are convinced that in a short space of time, the authorities will work on this line of legislation, and for this MAFEPE carries out tests similar to those carried out on safety footwear, to be prepared for a possible new, more specific EN standard.