NVision’s 3D-Scanning Expertise Accelerates PPE Mask Production During the COVID-19 Pandemic

May 16, 2020 by Stephanie Leonida

NVision helps accelerate the production of PPE equipment during the pandemic with its non-contact, 3D scanning technologies and solutions. 

NVision, Inc., is a forerunner in the 3D digitizing industry. The company provides its extensive network of customers with high accuracy 3D scanning, measurements, and software solutions, along with contract services tailored toward reverse engineering, inspection, and rapid prototyping.

NVision caters to industries including oil and gas, power generation, and aerospace. Recently, the company has been getting stuck in with helping to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to medical personnel during the coronavirus pandemic. NVision joined forces with a Texas PPE manufacturer, providing its expertise to 3D-scan protective masks and create a computer-aided design (CAD) file using the scan data that can then be used in the production process.

PPE equipment does not just include masks, but anything that protects the wearer from viruses, hazardous substances, and contaminants, or infectious diseases. PPE equipment includes fluid-repellent gowns,  gloves, eye protection using face-guards, and disposable overalls.

During the pandemic, the need for and shortage of essential equipment has continued to increase and raise demand for supply chains worldwide. Industry manufacturers from all over the world are endeavoring to utilize their resources to meet this demand and help fight against the spread of the coronavirus.


NVision Develops a CAD Model

After receiving physical plaster models of the masks from the PPE manufacturer, NVision engineers set to work on scanning and measuring their dimensions.

The entire process took the engineers only two hours to complete. An STL file generated from the scans was then converted to a native parametric CAD format. This model is what the PPE manufacturer needed to create tooling for mass production of the masks. 


NVision RoboScanner and Other Products

Amongst NVision’s armament of products and services, it offers a range of scanners and printers including its Handheld scanner, RoboScanner, Maxos, CT scanner, Mobile scan 3D, Stratasys, and Forms Labs 2. NVision’s CT scanner is able to deliver 3D representations of internal and external components by using x-rays.


robo scanner

The RoboScanner from NVision. Image used courtesy of NVision


This kind of scanning removes the process of disassembling an object. This saves time for reverse engineering and maintains object integrity. The scanner operates quickly, processing design and manufacturing requirements with a high degree of accuracy (0.0002 inches / 0.005 mm).

This is one of the devices that can utilize the scan data to create a CAD file like the one generated for the masks. NVision’s CT scanner is suitable for scanning both large and small objects, those that are metal or plastic, and those that are geometrically complex. 


Safety Covers for Credit Card Readers

In addition to helping accelerate mask production, NVision used its state of the art scanning technology to create tailor-fitted safety covers for credit card readers to help mitigate transmission of viruses.

The point cloud produced by the 3D scanning was converted into a raw STL file. The file was then imported into a specialized software environment and the data processed to produce an IGES/STEP model. 

Further processing was then undertaken to create a CAD model that client engineers could use to create tooling for the manufacture of the covers. 

Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, NVision’s technology and software have been invaluable in ensuring the rapid provision of transmission-reducing PPE equipment for the well-being of the public and medical healthcare community.