Using Large-Scale Additive Manufacturing (LSAM) as a Bridge Manufacturing Process in Response to Shortages in PPE During the COVID-19 Outbreak

Elizabeth Grace Bishop, Simon James Leigh

Article ID: 281
Vol 6, Issue 4, 2020, Pages

VIEWS - 152 (Abstract) 29 (PDF)


The global COVID-19 pandemic has led to an international shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), with traditional supply chains unable to cope with the significant demand leading to critical shortfalls. A number of open and crowd sourced initiatives have sought to address this shortfall by producing equipment such as protective face shields using additive manufacturing techniques such as Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF). This paper reports the process of designing and manufacturing protective face shields using Large-scale Additive Manufacturing (LSAM) to produce the major thermoplastic components of the face shield. LSAM offers significant advantages over other Additive Manufacturing (AM) technologies in bridge manufacturing scenarios as a true transition between prototypes and mass production techniques such as injection moulding. In the context of production of COVID-19 face shields, the ability to produce the optimised components in under five minutes compared to what would typically take one to two hours using another AM technologies meant that significant production volume could be achieved rapidly with minimal staffing.


Additive Manufacturing; 3D Printing; COVID-19; Coronavirus; Face Shield; PPE

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