One of the most stressful and concerning aspects of working in the medical field today is the lack of protection provided to healthcare professionals, especially for those who are directly in contact with COVID-19 patients.
For my stepmom, who works as a surgeon at Mt. Sinai in Manhattan, this was a grim reality when the staff began to make homemade disposable face shields since only thin surgical masks were being provided to them.
The disposable face shields were created with: foam, double sided tape, rubber bands, and laminator sheets.
That being said, we both thought it would be better to have a reusable face shield where the doctors only have to switch out the plastic covering instead of grabbing complete new ones. This would reduce the amount of physical shields that have to be created drastically.
So she sent me two links about people 3D-printing face shields. This video:
After a little bit of digging I was able to find the .STL that Prusa created (per their video) and went on to start the first test print.
These took about 6 hours for a single one and were approximately an inch tall.
When I first printed, I was a little worried about the design since Prusa created the file for PET and I was printing in PLA, but to my surprise they came out pretty flexible and sturdy.
After we made around 5 we discovered a problem: since the area where the plastic is held is not in a hook shape this means the plastic can sometimes slide off the shield.
I went back to scouring the internet to see if I could find an improved .STL of the face shield, and was lucky enough to stumble upon Prusa’s forums where people from all over the world were making modifications to the face shield. I found one with hooks and started to mass produce those with the help of my friend and VP of Knights Robotics.
These took around 4 hours to print and at this point the two of us together with a combined number of 3 printers couldn’t keep up with the demand that was requested from the hospital.
It was at that moment when the anaesthesiology department (the only department that had a 3D-printer!!!) got in touch with us and asked for the files so they can also begin printing too. Not too long after that they sent us a file they found of a visor that was less than a cm thick and took around 2 hours to make.
Here are some photos of some batches that my friend printed out:
And the .STL of the versions we printed:
V3 will be uploaded here shortly.