Design and Additive Manufacturing of Medical Face Shield for Healthcare Workers Battling Coronavirus (COVID-19)

H. Kursat Celik, Ozkan Kose, Mihaela-Elena Ulmeanu, Allan E.W. Rennie, Thomas N. Abram, Ibrahim Akinci

Article ID: 286
Vol 6, Issue 4, 2020, Article identifier:286

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During the coronavirus disease-19 pandemic, the demand for specific medical equipment such as personal protective equipment has rapidly exceeded the available supply around the world. Specifically, simple medical equipment such as medical gloves, aprons, goggles, surgery masks, and medical face shields have become highly in demand in the health-care sector in the face of this rapidly developing pandemic. This difficult period strengthens the social solidarity to an extent parallel to the escalation of this pandemic. Education and government institutions, commercial and noncommercial organizations and individual homemakers have produced specific medical equipment by means of additive manufacturing (AM) technology, which is the fastest way to create a product, providing their support for urgent demands within the health-care services. Medical face shields have become a popular item to produce, and many design variations and prototypes have been forthcoming. Although AM technology can be used to produce several types of noncommercial equipment, this rapid manufacturing approach is limited by its longer production time as compared to conventional serial/mass production and the high demand. However, most of the individual designer/maker-based face shields are designed with little appreciation of clinical needs and nonergonomic. They also lack of professional product design and are not designed according to AM (Design for AM [DfAM]) principles. Consequently, the production time of up to 4 – 5 h for some products of these designs is needed. Therefore, a lighter, more ergonomic, single frame medical face shield without extra components to assemble would be useful, especially for individual designers/makers and noncommercial producers to increase productivity in a shorter timeframe. In this study, a medical face shield that is competitively lighter, relatively more ergonomic, easy to use, and can be assembled without extra components (such as elastic bands, softening materials, and clips) was designed. The face shield was produced by AM with a relatively shorter production time. Subsequently, finite element analysis-based structural design verification was performed, and a three-dimensional (3D) prototype was produced by an original equipment manufacturer 3D printer (Fused Deposition Modeling). This study demonstrated that an original face shield design with <10 g material usage per single frame was produced in under 45 min of fabrication time. This research also provides a useful product DfAM of simple medical equipment such as face shields through advanced engineering design, simulation, and AM applications as an essential approach to battling coronavirus-like viral pandemics.


Medical face shield, Personal protective equipment, Product design, Additive manufacturing, Coronavirus disease-19

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