Hey everyone, I hope you're all doing well.
As I know there are lots of engineers and designers watching this, I wanted to showcase some of the open hardware projects I have come across in the past few weeks in response to the pandemic. Maybe some of them will be useful for where you are in the world.
Before we start, just a disclaimer too. There's a mixture of projects here; some that are currently being used by medical professionals right now, and others that are more experimental. To be clear, many of those untested ones are last ditch, emergency fallbacks incase there's nothing else to use, so keep that in mind.
If you're going to use any of these designs, obviously listen to the medical pros who will actually be using the equipment, as they will know best what they need.
All the links mentioned are both on the NODE site and listed in the Youtube video description too. If you know of others that aren't covered here, post a comment and I'll update the list.
One of the pieces of personal protective equipment in short supply right now is the face shield. When used with masks and other gear, they help drastically reduce airborne droplets getting into medical workers faces.
Thankfully these are fairly simple to make, and if you have a 3D printer, you could also help the effort in your local area. There are a few projects out there with slightly different designs, let's have a look.
3D printing legends Prusa have designed their own version, which is available to download now. The latest RC3 iteration allows you to print out 4 bands at once, and has received some preliminary verifications from the Czech Ministry of Health, where Prusa is based.
Budmen Industries has also released a face shield design, ready for 3D printing. They have a system on their site which also matches up medical workers with those willing to print out shields, so check that out if you're interested.
Another is the Glia COVID-19 Face Shield, and this project is run by practicing doctors and medical students in Canada. CAD and STL files are on their github page.
Finally there is the FaceShield.nu project by Erik Cederberg. This one is slightly different from the others, and is designed to work with standard sized hole punches and A4 transparent sheeting.
Youtuber MKme made an indepth video showing you how to put one together, so check it out if you're interested.
Researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina have developed a 3D printable mask with modular HEPA filter cartridges, and have released the files and instructions on their website.
Designers at Isinnova, working with doctors in Italy have repurposed a Decathlon snorkeling mask by adding a custom 3D printed valve to the top. This modification turns it into a perfect emergency ventilator mask, which doctors in the country have been desperately in need of.
The files are available on their site, and I'm sure this technique could be adapted to different snorkeling mask manufacturers around the world.
Staff at St Luke's Hospital in Cedar Rapids have created a simple fabric mask pattern, as well as instructions on how to create them using a sewing machine. They stress that these masks won't replace professionally made ones, but they will be better than nothing if the pandemic worsens and there are no other masks available.
The hospital has provided a postal address for those who want to contribute completed masks.
As this particular virus attacks peoples lungs and breathing, the need for ventilators is off the charts at the moment. A couple projects have popped up recently to try and fill the supply gap.
The first is the OxVent. This project, led by engineers and medics at Oxford University and Kings College London aims to develop a rapidly deployable ventilator, using readily available off-the-shelf parts.
Those with the relevant skills, and access to manufacturing and prototyping tools like 3D printers can get in touch to collaborate with the team.
Researchers at MIT have taken up the challenge too, creating the E-Vent system. This ventilator uses an automated bag-valve mask design, and again information and plans are on the MIT site.
Obviously the ventilator is a complex piece of equipment, and is critical for keeping people alive, so it needs to work flawlessly. If you're interested in learning more, check out this in-depth overview by Hackaday.
The UK government has released a specification for ventilators that can be used in UK hospitals. It goes into great detail about the precise features needed to give adequate care, and will probably be a good watermark for anyone embarking on this type of project.
The folks at Civilpedia have created a how-to guide for creating a positive pressure PPE suit. Dunno how useful this will be, but might be good to know.
There are also a bunch of different 3D printable door accessories on Thingiverse, allowing you to open them with your foot instead of touching with your hands.
A lot of new initiatives have popped up aiming to organize the efforts of the design and engineering communities for this challenge. Check them out if you're interested, but remember to do your research since most are brand new.
Operation Shields Up is a project which is creating and donating 3D printed face shields to health professionals. You can donate cash, or help print out the face shields and send them in.
Opensource.com have set up a discord server for technical folks wanting to discuss ideas relating to COVID-19.
Hack The Pandemic is another group of engineers and tinkerers banding together to work on ideas. Immediate needs include 3D printing, laser cutting, and sewing.
Make4Covid is similar group of over 400 volunteers helping to create gear that's running low. This one looks to be centred around Colorado in the US.
And finally 3Dhubs recently set up a fund specifically to help projects all around the world like the ones in this video. You can donate directly to the fund in order to help other 3D printing projects scale up manufacturing of parts for much needed equipment.
Alright, that's all I could find. Hopefully there's something in there that's useful for you.
Anyways, much love and be safe.