One of the things in immediate need right now are face shields for those in the front line fighting the pandemic. Health care personnels are saving lives by risking their lives every day. As designers (Neuro-Designs) and makers (Axocraft), we feel that we need to do something. It’s a part of our social responsibility, and we want to do everything that we can to contribute with our expertise in this tough times.
One of the first makers who pushed this initiative was Josef Prusa, and many makers and designers have since followed suit with countless iterations to enable these shields to be mass-produced by means of both digital and manual fabrication. The one we opted for is the second version of a laser-cut face shield designed by Konrad Klepacki and Mateusz Dyrda. After careful consideration, we found that—at least in our case—this is the best version with the best compromise between materials that we need to acquire, manufacturing time, and ease of sterilization. The designers themselves optimized the design for mass production, and given the situation, we think this is the best way to go, at least for now.
Earlier this week, we have started sourcing materials for initial testing and feasibility, as well as calculating how much we can produce at a given time relative to the materials available. We’re planning to provide 12-pack sets (sanitized and sealed in a zipper bag) and donate them to hospitals in need. We have made several dozens this week, and hopefully we are able to continuously produce these as many as we can.
To medical professionals out there, you are the unsung heroes of this situation. The amount of gratitude would not be enough to thank all of you for risking your lives. If your hospital need stocks of these, please feel free to contact us, and we’ll try to do everything we can to help.
To other designers and makers, we do have a limited facility, and getting PET sheets to make these can be tricky sometimes. While we’re going to try to produce as many as we can and donate them to as many medical staff as possible, they surely won’t be enough. So if you have the means to produce this as clean as you possibly can, please help out. Don’t sell them. Just make them, ask who needs them, and donate them. If you don’t have the means to absorb the material and labor cost, open up a donation fund, and let people help you make these masks. Also, whatever you do, please don’t laser cut PVC sheets. It produces toxic fumes. This is why we decided to use PET sheets.
In the mean time, stay safe. We will get through this.
Important disclaimer: As much as we try to sanitize these masks, they are not medically-rated, and we are not trained medical professionals as well. These visors would need to be sanitized again prior to use and we are aware of this limitation. In desperate times, at the very least, these visors would help while waiting for actual medically-rated equipments to be restocked and become available for medical personnels. With every shipment, we’ll be providing instructions with clear warnings and reminders as well to make sure that they are handled properly.