Slant 3D is working to maximize production of 3D printed face shields to meet the need created by the spread of Covid-19
This is an unprecedented situation. And as infections continue to grow in the United States there is an increasing shortage of vital medical equipment that can protect our healthcare workers.
We are doing all that we can to help in this crisis. Thus far we have dedicated nearly 100 3D Printers to produce Face shields and other PPE for the healthcare systems in our state of Idaho and other hospitals across the country. We are also actively working to help provide PPE face shields to New York as they battle coronavirus.
These shields have been derived from the design created and utilized in Europe by Prusa. Though our design is optimized to be more manufacturable. We are currently producing 1000 per day with the intent to scale up to 2000 per day.
These shields have been put into production as an emergency measure. We are simply trying to bridge the supply gap that many hospitals are experinencing. Please contact us if you have a need for other PPE as well.
At Slant 3D we have been busy the past week aggregating 3D Printed designs and putting them into production to help as much as we can with the spreading coronavirus situation. We have optimized face shields, accessories and are working on masks.
But we would like to provide some files for ventilator parts that may become necessary should the supply become short in your local area. We have also prepared them for production ourselves. Currently our facility is making about 1000 face shields per day. But we are working to spin up more production if the need arises.
Ventilator Venturi Valve
These valves were practically the first necessity in Italy to be 3D printed. This new design is optimized for additive manufacturing and is fully open source. We are prepared to produce about 250-500 of these parts per day, if necessary. But they are designed to be disposable. Please reach out if you have a need for these parts.
This design was made by Hargurdeep Singh. The design is well adapted for FDM 3D Printing and is intended to split a ventilator among multiple patients. We have not verified this design. It is meant to be used as last resort. If you have a need for this part please reach out to us.
Ventilator Valve for Snorkeling Mask
Another creation from Italy this valve was made by Isinnova to convert normal full-face snorkeling masks into ventilators. The file is simple to print, but may require heating to be fitted to equipment. This can be done with a hair dryer or hot water. We have also prepared this part for production should the need arise.
Just the Headband and the transparent shield. That is all that is needed to create a fully functional face shield. This will allow the parts to be produced and assembled more quickly and at a larger scale.
If you would like to secure the mask through more than "spring action" then velcro can easily be adhered to the 3D Printed straps to cinch it down firmly.
This updated design is compatible with the Prusa FaceShield parts as well.
If you would like to 3D Print and assemble this face mask yourself for your local community feel free. Please be sure to exercise precautions such as a mask and glove to ensure that you do not contaminate healthcare personnel.
This post includes a means of ordering 3D Printed face shield parts as well as the 3D Printing files for several Face Shield designs. We do want to note that these devices are considered to be a last resort option only to be use if there are no other options.
The Slant 3D Face Shield
Other 3D Printed Face Shields
The Prusa Protective Face Shield
Prusa came out with one of the first designs for a 3D printed face shield. It is a good design. But the hexagons and large surface area require longer printer times and make the part more prone to failure during printing.
3D Printing files for the prusa face shield can be downloaded at the link below.
Budmen Industrie 3D Printed Face Shield
Budmen industries created a simple face shield early in the outbreak. Is is a simple design that can be printed quickly. But it has little flexibility and does not support the plastic window sheet very well.
3D Printing files for the 3D printed Budmen Faceshield can be found below.
They should only be used as a last resort. That is what we would like to say to health professionals that might not be fully aware of what the technology is capable off. With this post we would like to outline the risks of using 3D printed respirator masks, both for the general public, the 3D printing community, and the medical community that might not fully understand what is being pushed by a panicked, but anxious to help, 3D printing community.
If you are using crowd-sourced masks. That is, masks that are made by local individuals with garage 3D Printers. Then you essentially have hundreds of individuals handling your masks in their homes. Those people may not be tested for Covid-19. so they could be infecting the masks that they are supplying. This means that they could potentially be directly infecting you staff if you utilize these masks. Amateur manufacturing means amateur facilities and handling.
Due to the layer lines in DIY 3D printed parts these masks can't be reliably sanitized. Therefore even though they will be relatively expensive to manufacture (2-5 dollars each). They would have to be disposable, if they can reliably be used in the first place.
The vast majority of masks printed are being printed from the baseline design in rigid materials. They do not compensate for male or female. This means that they do not fit most faces. In fact most of these masks fit little better than the oxygen mask in an airplane.
The only option to make them fit is to heat them up in boiling water or in a microwave and then press the softened plastic onto the face of the individual using the mask.
The problem is that these masks are not reusable. They cannot be sterilized. So a worker has to potentially scald their face each time they put on a disposable mask. And the seal is still not viable. Because the mask would lose its seal as soon as the healthcare worker moves their jaw.
The poor fit essentially makes the mask useless except as a splatter guard.
Again, due to the rigid materials, and DIY designs. Most of these masks do not seal around the face. Admittedly many paper masks don't perfectly seal either. But they also do not force air to move through the few crevasses that exist. And again the only way to get a reasonable fit (other than a plastic part in front of your mouth) is to heat the plastic and form it to your face.
Due to this problem healthcare professionals would almost be as protected if they simply tied a dishtowel in front of their face. Maybe better protected. (Read the full study about these materials effectiveness)
At Slant 3D we have tested every publicly available 3D Printed face mask. The one that prints the fastest is complete in 2 hours. That means that a single printer could produce 12 a day. There are only about 1.5-2 million 3D printers worldwide. That means that only 24 million masks could be manufactured per day if every printer was working on it 24/7.
China has the capability to manufacture 116 million N95 masks per day right now. And then it takes 2-5 days to ship those out. The US is expected to only need 3.5 billion masks to address coronavirus for a year. That is basically 1 month of production.
3D printing is not necessary and is not viable to address the supply shortages. Supply shortages that do not yet exist. They are only projected based on worst case scenarios. Please everyone calm down and allow the supply chains a few days to catch up.
It is truly great to see the 3D Printing community stepping up to help with local manufacturing. But respirators are not the item to manufacture. There is not yet a need, and when there is, 3D printing is not a viable solution. Please believe us we do mass manufacturing with 3D Printing for a living. Time would be much better spent on face shields, potentially ventilator parts, and general everyday aides.
To the medical community. If you have a drastic need for facemasks please use your knowledge to make a call. At this point there is no magical antibacterial 3D printing material that makes 3D printed masks much better than a torn tshirt tied across your mouth.Use your own judgement. It is possible that 3D Printed masks can help to limit the spread from covid-positive patients. But again, tshirt.
Please feel free to reach out to us here at Slant 3D if you have any questions or need to have some other part manufactured. We are standing by and reserving capacity when viable solutions become apparent.
Coronavirus appears to be spread most quickly through direct contact with infected areas (as well as through microdroplets from sneezes and coughs). So we have created, and put into production several objects that can be used by the average person in their home or office, to help reduce the amount of contact with everyday surfaces such as door handles and Light switches.
We have put these into production so that those that need them can get them. The designs are all available and can be downloaded for free from the links at the bottom of the page to print in your own community.
Elbow Door Opener
Door handles are the most common surface that is shared among individuals. Materialize came out with an accessory that could be used on round handles. We have created one for normal square handles.
If you are not able or interested in preparing all the door handles in your facility to be opened without a hand, then the Handle Grabber may be a better option. This keychain accessory allows you to easily open doors and manipulate light switches without having to come into contact with them.,
3D Print Yourself
These files are all designed to be 3D Printed. The files for each are below.
As COVID-19 continues to spread, 3D Printing can help to mitigate supply shortages of parts and devices needed to help. Slant 3D is comitting a large portion of our production 3D Printing capacity of several hundred printers to help as needed. But there are thousands of other printers in the world that can also contribute.
Here are several 3D printing files that can be printed to help deal with the Coronavirus epidemic.
We would like to take this moment to say that masks are largely ineffective. It is assumed at this point that is Covid-19 is tranmitted predominantly through direct contact with body fluids. This makes a mask useless unless you are in a crowded area among those who are infected and symptomatic. This means that masks are mainly needed in hospitals.
But if you or a person you know becomes symptomatic you can protect the people around you by wearing a mask because droplets can be spewed around an area through coughing and sneezing. So a mask does help but mainly as a catcher. You do not need to have a HEPA filter simple fabric like a handkerchief in the mask helps a huge amount.
Another interesting mask for holding a cloth cover in place. This mask is printed flat with PLA and then heated with a hairdryer or in boiling water to then form to the face. It will create a more comfortable fit and likely a better seal.
Since the COVID-19 seems to be transfered through direct contact door handles and other common touch-points can be contaminated. Materialize has created a design to be a used with round handled doors which can be easily printed and installed. These fixtures make is easy to open the door with an elbow.
Helping with more general tasks this device allows you to interact with commonly touched surfaces in order to avoid contact. A Simple hook lets you open doors and you can also use it to turn on lights and maybe even the knob in the bathroom.
We will update this list with new posts as more designs are created. We are aslo comitting capacity to the production of such devices. We hope that we can help in some way limit the supply shortages that are arising. If you a have a part that needs to be produced please submit it to us and we will do our best to help.
Most of all we would like to say "Please stay calm." Supply chains are functioning. Infrastructure is fine. It is the burst of panic that has limited toilet paper in the stores. Please only take what you need and plan food and consumables for a potential 2 weeks shutdown. Please do not do more as you will add to a vicious cycle of hoarding. We will come through this epidemic.
As travel and shipping become more constricted due to COVID-19, flexible and large scale additive manufacturing will be a great resource.
The inventory demands and the shipping restrictions are limiting supplies form china. Companies need a local manufacturing resource that can affordably be spun-up to meet current supply needs, without high up front cost. Since there is no cost of Tooling, but the capacity to produce 10,000's of plastic pieces, production 3D Printing can bridge this production gap.
There is also a "all hands on deck" necessity for manufacturers to produce materials that are simply in short supply worldwide. Items such as face masks and other medical aides. 3D Printing companies can contribute to the supply chain as much as possible to support medical staff and those responding to the crisis.
If you need help manufacturing your product during this uncertain time. Please submit a 3D model to us and we will do our best to help.