The color and shape of ProGlove’s wearable barcode scanners are unique. Here is how the manufacturer arrived at using 3D printing and SLS technology to come up with a family of products that meets the market’s needs.
Rapid prototyping has been crucial for ProGlove. It is part of the organization’s DNA. So, it certainly is no surprise that 3D printing has played a critical role for the industrial wearable maker from the get-go. The ProGlove team initially relied on FDM printers. But, at the time, FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) came with a limited scope of possibilities. To address testing and using the product, ProGlove turned to SLS (selective laser sintering) technology and remodeled its design process. This extended ProGlove’s capabilities to produce tricky shapes while reducing the amount of necessary parts.
Wearable barcode scanners come with a unique shade of orange
While challenges such as the shape or wall thickness of the components were key questions, the coloring of the wearable barcode scanners also required attention. At first the devices were spray-painted, yet it turned out that the color faded after being in use. This was yet another reason why ProGlove committed to SLS.
The distinct orange is critical for ProGlove’s wearable barcode scanners. ProGlove chose this color because it functions as a signaling color in an industrial context. But the company wanted something noticeably different and not just another off-the-shelve hue. So, ProGlove worked with Dyemansion to define a unique “ProGlove orange”. (Read the full customer reference to find out more about the challenges ProGlove faced and addressed with the support of Dyemansion).
A combination of SLS and injection molding for more flexibility
Meanwhile, ProGlove has established reproducible processes across all its product lines and has procedures in place that can compete with traditional manufacturing technologies. This allows ProGlove to develop and enhance its product portfolio consistently at the pace needed for its targeted markets. Additionally, ProGlove still adheres to SLS for all products and for its serial production to some extent. Yet, while the company is likely to always rely on printing for the first thousand or even ten thousand pieces, ProGlove also uses a combination of SLS and injection molding, a determining factor to allow for such flexibility.
At the end of the day, ProGlove has managed to establish short innovation cycles and industrial scale manufacturing – both of which are indispensable prerequisites for the success of its wearable barcode scanners.