Rapid Prototyping Case Studies

Industry: Sporting goods

Product: The XO Heart Shield

The Challenge: The country’s largest maker of protective athletic cups wanted to expand into chest protection for young baseball players. A flawless prototype for testing and tooling verification was critically important. The process of overmolding—joining flexible and hard materials—added a layer of complexity to the task, which had to be completed in just one week.

The ART Corp Solution:
Cadability, Inc. one of our design partners, provided data files from which ART produced a Stereolithography master and rubber tooling. Our experts cast a hard urethane liner and then overmolded it with a soft rubber-like urethane. The unique design of the heart shield product channels impact energy to three anchor points, away from the critical heart area, greatly reducing injury potential. For testing purposes, the XO Heart Shield was glued onto T-shirts. During actual production, the device is injection molded directly onto the T-shirt.

The Results: The single iteration of the prototype proved highly effective and successful. The one-week turnaround enabled the client to prove out the design before making an enormous financial commitment to creating the product. With a potential production run of hundreds of thousands to even millions, the XO Heart Shield chest protectors hit store shelves in the Spring of 2008.