3d printing in times of covid
Our experience printing face shields and ear savers.
The process has not been linear, rather successes, mistakes and learning.
We started by printing "face-shields" using PLA and using clear sheets that we already had. Thanks to the maker community, we were able to test various widely available models on thingiverse since March 2020.
Then we changed the strategy, we made silicone molds to make the copies of "face-shields" and "ear protectors." After many hours, attempts and materials. Using molds reduced the production time compared to 3d printing. Also the final object had less porosity than a printed object.
We have also worked from scratch on the design of a valve respirator. In the process we read new documentation mentioning that the valves are not ideal for the COVID scenario. This new information made us put this project aside but we are excited to have developed specific elements.
We handed out face-shields and "ear protectors" to emergency management personnel in Vieques just as the quarantine began. It is important to mention that the island of Vieques does not have a hospital.
References and credit of the models we manufacture: