From concept model to prototypes in twelve weeks

Our client Yellow Collective “Believe in the right to clean air. For everyone, everywhere”. Yellow Collective’s technology delivers significantly cleaner air with reductions in C02, PM1, 2.5, 10, VOC’S, NOx & SOx.

Yellow Collective approached the 3D-Consultancy (3DC) to package their novel photocatalytic technology into an air purifier prototype that would be suitable for testing onboard the train for a major rail operator and that would give them further learning on the application and performance of their technology. The opportunity came about during unprecedented covid times and a government keen to get people back to travelling safely on trains. A device that could clean the air and kill the covid virus was highly desirable.

Before we were even at this point. Yellow Collective were in touch one weekend requesting a demonstration model to pitch their idea. Working from a concept render and given the urgency a 3d model was created in a matter of hours and then manufactured using FDM 3D printing process to allow a demonstration model to be presented in front of the target customer within 4 days.

Initial concept render which provided basis for the air purifier enclosure design

Given the success of the pitch, the focus then turned to fast tracking the idea to a working prototype. The brief was one of the most challenging 3DC had faced.

In 10 weeks, produce a fully integrated air purifier, shock and vibe, EMC tested and nineteen copy devices for a live passenger test across two rail carriages. Two devices also required integrated sensors to measure air quality improvement.

To keep track of the task with so much to deliver in so little time, short daily stand-up team meeting between all parties were installed.  This ensured quick decision making, and any concerns quickly addressed. As there was the need to bring several key components together safely in a functional system the onus was simplicity, limiting the use of bespoke design components and using off the shelf parts as much possible (this also helped with regulatory and safety compliance).  A simple cylindrical enclosure design was selected to enable easy sheet metal fabrication and protection for all the functional elements and sensors inside.

There were some changes mid project to specification and performance areas but the project was eventually successfully completed in 12 weeks which was a monumental effort from all parties involved.

Yellow Collective CEO & Founder Mark Cusack with Version 1 prototype & installation for train test

A spokesperson for Yellow Collective commented that “Vital to the success of the project was being able to deliver in time and on full in Covid times. We went from a blank sheet of paper to full delivery of tested devices within 3 months. From initial discussions to final delivery 3DC were responsive, understanding and laser focused on delivery. The inevitable challenges that a project such as this threw up were dealt with professionally and effectively. Would thoroughly recommend, excellent value and collaboration.”

As a result of success from this first project a more advanced specification was targeted for v2.  The customer targeted this v2 model for further learning from smart sensoring and to measure a full complement of airborne particles.  Consideration was also given to a more aesthetic design that resembled more the initial concept render. By the time, this project had been completed, the last two versions of the v2 batch were setup and performing excellent as plug and play devices pushing live data to the cloud to show how much air quality improvement has been made in real time.

Version 2 air purifier which was used for further customer testing in a variety of environments


The 3D Consultancy are an engineering led design and manufacturing consultancy providing technical solutions utilising CAD digital processes, advanced 3D printing/additive manufacturing, and 3D scanning.

If you have a technical challenge with very tight deadlines that require exacting specifications and an agile working approach to achieve results, then give us a call on 0203 092 4429 or send us an email or visit our website for more information.



Posted on

25th November 2022