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First NIH-recommended 3D-printed COVID-19 face shield launched by Design that Matters

| By Mary Bailey

To respond to the COVID-19 crisis, non-profit organization Design that Matters (DtM; launched an open-source, 3D-printable face shield to provide eye protection for healthcare workers and others working on the frontlines. After one week with multiple iterations and piloting with clinicians, it is now the first 3D-printed face shield recommended by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH). Several other organizations, including Siemens, have been looking to 3D printing technologies to provide necessary supplies for front-line medical workers.

Design that Matters has launched the first NIH-approved 3D-printed face shield

To design a clinically-accepted face shield in only one week, DtM assembled a team of over forty experts in medical device design, engineering, human factors, regulatory and medicine with volunteers from Spark Health Design, Microsoft, and Boeing, and clinical experts from Mass General Brigham, the University of Washington Harborview Medical Center and the UW Medical Center at University campus.  

DtM took the open source Prusa RC2 design as a starting point. The initial feedback from clinicians revealed the need for improved protection for the wearer from aerosol and splatter from above, and improved washability and re-use. The resulting DtM-v3.0 Face Shield provides coverage from above while maintaining a flexible band and top ventilation to limit fogging. The transparent shield can be made from a 3-hole punched report cover common in office supply stores that is easily replaced if soiled or scratched. 

The DtM-v3.0 face shield design along with instructions for fabrication and assembly, have been officially released on the NIH3D print exchange under a public domain license that allows anyone to use, remix, and build upon the design, even for commercial purposes. Find the full details here: