Redmond, WA and Boston, MA -- March 31, 2020 -- To respond to the COVID-19 crisis, non-profit Design that Matters (DtM) launched an open source, 3D-printable face shield on March 27 to provide eye protection for healthcare workers and others working on the frontlines. After one week with multiple iterations and piloting with clinicians, it is now the first 3D-printed face shield recommended by the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
To design a clinically-accepted face shield in only one week, DtM assembled a team of over forty experts in medical device design, engineering, human factors, regulatory and medicine with volunteers from Spark Health Design, Microsoft, and Boeing, and clinical experts from Mass General Brigham, the University of Washington Harborview Medical Center and the UW Medical Center at University campus.
DtM took the open source Prusa RC2 design as a starting point. The initial feedback from clinicians revealed the need for improved protection for the wearer from aerosol and splatter from above, and improved washability and re-use. The resulting DtM-v3.0 Face Shield provides coverage from above while maintaining a flexible band and top ventilation to limit fogging. The transparent shield can be made from a 3-hole punched report cover common in office supply stores that is easily replaced if soiled or scratched.
The response from clinical evaluators has been encouraging. One ER nurse on the front lines at a Seattle-area hospital said, “I love it. It makes me feel safer. I was swabbing someone for a COVID-19 test when he vomited on me. It kept me clean."
The DtM-v3.0 face shield design along with instructions for fabrication and assembly, have been officially released on the NIH3D print exchange under a public domain license that allows anyone to use, remix, and build upon the design, even for commercial purposes. Find the full details here: https://www.designthatmatters.org/covid-19
- Spark Health Design has compiled relevant references spanning product requirements and human factors for the Design that Matters Face Shield effort and anyone else contemplating a make-your-own face shield project.
- Jeremy Hanson at Seattle Makers has produced a useful IPC Safety HOWTO video for hobbyists who want to help with face shield production.
- See an archive of process development photos on our working Google Drive folder.
Design That Matters
Design that Matters works with volunteers and the best social enterprises to design medical devices for global health in low-resource settings. The speed of the coronavirus pandemic is turning all clinical settings into low-resource settings. In response, we have shifted to applying DtM's expertise in rapid prototyping, human-centered design and medical devices to the domestic shortage of critical health supplies.