It is difficult to know how to act or how to prepare for the near future when so much is uncertain.

We’ve heard this pandemic described by some as “The Apollo mission of our time”.

It took the coordinated efforts of an estimated 400,000 American workers nearly a decade to make the Apollo 11 moon landing possible. Nothing short of a World War could have so successfully brought together thousands of talented individuals and different organizations for one single purpose.

It is thrilling and heartwarming to see reports online of individuals and organizations around the world offering their time, their skills and even their valuable material resources, to benefit people they have never even met. This spirit of fundamental human kindness, of cooperation, of willingness to share information and resources, will be the key to overcoming COVID-19.

Here at Zaic Design, in compliance with New Jersey Executive Order 107, we have sent everyone home who does not need to be physically present at our studio to do their job. Our CNC machines are still running full time, thanks to the efforts of our Shop Manager and our CNC machine operator, Rob and Preston.

Yumi and I moved two of our 3D printers to our home office and we have been experimenting with 3D printing personal protective equipment (PPE) to see which designs might be practical if/when there is a coordinated call for them. We know many of our friends have 3D printers at home, these designs can be made on almost any consumer FDM 3D printer.

Below are some links and photos of designs we have evaluated.

Stratasys 3D printed Face Shield:

https://go.stratasys.com/lp-face-shield.html

Zaic Design 3d printed Face Shield
3d Printed Face Shield
Zaic Design 3d printed Face Shield from the side

Review:

This is the most comfortable and economical of the designs we tried. It is very lightweight and the wide band that contacts the forehead distributes pressure well.

The clear plastic face shield can be made using overhead projector transparency sheets and a standard three-hole punch. The clear plastic is easily removable from the rigid frame, so that they can be replaced as often as needed with minimal effort.

Printer: Prusa i3 MK3

Print time:  2hrs

Layer Height: 0.2mm

Strap: #16 Rubber Band from Staples, qty 1

Sheet: 8 ½ x 11in transparency sheet

Reusable Face Mask Frame:

https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4141338

Zaic Design 3D Printed Face Mask frame with Paper Towels folded
3D Printed Face Mask with Paper Towels
Zaic Design 3d Printed Face Mask from the side

Review:

This mask is intended to be used whenever surgical masks are no longer available.

The fit is remarkably comfortable, all things considered.

The filter material is two layers of paper towel and one layer of facial napkin against the skin.

According to the research effort described here (https://www.consumer.org.hk/ws_en/news/2020/covid-19-diymasks) this combination of layers will provide 90% of the protection offered by standard surgical masks.

In short, it is not ideal but it is better than nothing.

There is some advantage over cloth masks in that the paper filter material can be replaced as often as needed, between patients if necessary.

The rubber bands we used were not comfortable on the ears, so we designed and 3D printed a simple Retaining Strap, described below.

Zaic Design Head Strap for Face Masks
Zaic Design 3D Printed Head Strap

Stats:

Printer: Prusa i3 MK3

Print time:  20 min

Layer Height: 0.2mm

Strap: #16 Rubber Band from Staples, qty 4

Retaining Strap:

Files available by request. Email chris@zaicdesign.com

This strap is a flat design that could easily be laser cut or die cut inexpensively if there is a need. It is possible that this clip could be used with standard surgical masks as well to keep the elastic from chaffing the skin behind the ears when worn all day long.

We will post more PPE prints and status updates when available.

Stay Safe!!

The Zaic Design Team


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