COVID-19 Maker Projects

We’ve had several projects, building on what other makerspaces have been doing, at Castlemakers to help with the COVID-19 crisis.

Face Shields

3D Printed Face Shields with laser cut visors.

There are a lot of different designs being 3D printed/fabricated right now, NIH has a long but not comprehensive list. There are at least two kinds being made here in Greencastle. We’ve chosen to make one not on the NIH list, the PRUSA design. The PRUSA version is popular in 3D printing communities and wide acceptance/approval both overseas and the US. Over 65,000 of this design has been made in the Czech Republic and 80,000 in the UK alone!

Some comments/links that may help you if choosing this design:
– We’re printing the US version, this link to the parts/instructions may help the most. I’ve been using the RC3 US version with .3mm layers & 30% infill in PETG plastic.
– Clear visor plastic was cut on our laser with the .dxf template. Because .5mm thick plastic is hard to find right now, we’ve been using transparencies (4 mil or .1mm thick). Transparencies are acceptable to many and better than none.
– On our Rostock Max printer it takes around 2 hours per assembly (top headband & chin piece) to print, YMMV. Working on reducing the time, so that estimate is a work in proress. Also there is a stacked version available that speeds up per piece further (although chin piece needs to be printed separate).

Another group, led by Drew Bottorff at Area 30, printed some of the Verkstan design that is being used in Sweden and elsewhere. He’s got a YouTube videos on how he made them. This design has several advantages, included printing much quicker, and a small sweat shield at the top. The Verkstan does not require a strap at the back like the PRUSA instead clamping on your head and is closer to your face than the PRUSA.

Face Masks

Prototype Montana Masks that were 3D printed.

We also printed up a few of the Montana Masks for a local Volunteer Fire Department. Again these were prototypes and always glad to help first responders if we can! These 3D printed masks are shaped to fit the individual and use a seal on the back side to prevent air ingress. A cut up surgical mask (or fabric or vacuum cleaner bag or…) is used to filter the incoming air.

The fabric masks being made are more practical for most and can be made by individuals or groups. Again there are a lot of designs/instructions out there, so I’m not going to list any except the CDC webpage on the subject.

The biggest local group I’m aware of making the masks in Greencastle is calling themselves Masked Mommas, a great effort and if you need some that could be a good place to start. I’ll also link/mention the Bloomington, Indiana group that got my attention several weeks ago – they are very well organized and have lots of good information about masks including effectiveness of different fabrics for viruses. Here’s a easy to read version of fabric effectiveness based on some academic research.

Last mask item, the ear savers look pretty handy also – printed several & they can help prevent the straps from falling off. Quite a few designs being made, including one that can be made using a laser, which if it’s comfortable and works can be made much quicker (still testing the design).