MaP+S PPE Production

MaP+S affiliates have led or collaborated on three separate personal protective equipment (PPE) design and production efforts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, ranging in scale from DIY grassroots initiatives to coordinated institutional responses.  Each of the three projects is described in detail below:

Fast, Easy + Cheap Face Shields

Olga Mesa, in collaboration with Aaron Brode of Roger Williams University and 2StoryDesignBuild, has created a design for a face shield that can be fabricated entirely from materials commonly available at office supply stores.  

Developed with input from clinicians at Rhode Island’s South County Hospital, the design eliminates the need for digital fabrication technologies such as 3D printers or laser cutters, allowing anyone with access to a single hole punch to participate in face shield production.  

The visor uses two ⅞” x 1mm PVC edge banding strips of different lengths secured with VHB (very high bonding) tape to create a laminated crescent-shaped band that prevents the visors from fogging up. An elastic band at the rear of the visor accommodates for varying head sizes.  

A 7 mil PET shield is secured to the visor using binder ½” clips, allowing for the shields to be removed quickly and sanitized for reuse. 

To date, Mesa and her team have delivered 340 shields to hospitals and vulnerable populations in Rhode Island and New York, including South County Hospital in Kingston, RI; the Rhode Island National Guard;  St. John’s Hospital in Jackson Hole, WY and Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, NY.

The team was contacted by designer Karina Sucre at Noos to recreate the design in Brasil. They have successfully made and distributed 100 shields for the Sao Paulo Hospital and the GRAACC in Sao Paulo.

Student-led PPE Production

MaP+S group research assistant Katarina Richter-Lunn (MDes Technology) and fellow GSD student Cadence Bayley, along with Jay Luthar, MD of Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA) Hospitals, are leading a team of GSD students in the production of face shields for area hospitals.  

Utilizing a network of student-owned desktop 3D printers, along with plastic sheet and filament donated by the greater GSD student body, the team has been able to print and assemble up to 140 face shields per week.  The effort also includes GSD Students Christopher Gallegos, Haydn Gittemeier, Beko Liu, Hidekatus Uchida, Jeffrey Wong, and Tadashi Kamitaki.

The team is printing an open source design by 3D Verkstan that has been approved for clinical use by the National Institute of Health’s COVID-19 Supply Chain Response.  

To date, the group has delivered over 300 face shields to CHA Cambridge and CHA Everett, as well as a small batch to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. 

GSD Fabrication Lab PPE Production

Leveraging the fabrication resources available at the GSD, Chris Hansen (Digital Fabrication Technical Specialist at the GSD Fabrication Lab), with Steve Spodaryk (GSD Fabrication Lab), Sherry Yu, MD (Brigham and Women’s Hospital) and MJ Antonini (MIT/Harvard Medical School) have designed and produced face shields for front-line medical workers at area hospitals.  Prior to the start of production, Hansen produced a prototype face shield that was evaluated in a clinical trial at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.  Eric Höweler, Associate Professor of Architecture at the GSD, was also involved in prototyping and developing the design. Part of the effort was coordinated by MaP+S director Martin Bechthold. 

As of April 22, 2020 the team had 3D printed 948 visors/mounts and laser cut 914 shields.  Additional details and updates regarding the production effort are available on the Harvard GSD website.