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Corona Virus – 3D Printed Face Shield Guide

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An in-depth guide to 3D printing protective face shields – helping to combat the effects of COVID-19. 

A lot of 3D printing service bureaus will be seeing a steep decline in new B2B enquiries due to business shutdowns. Should this stop you maximising your printing capabilities? No! Using the files in the link provided we can help combat the effects of COVID-19 to help support, critical essential workers on the front line. 

How To Guide - 3D Printed Mask

These specific face shields are being created in collaboration with Solid Print 3D in order get get vital PPE to medical professionals across the U.K.

We’re using the Prusa designed face shield, which can be downloaded and rapid prototyped from the link below:

https://manual.prusa3d.com/Guide/How+to+assemble+the+Prusa+Face+Shield+-+RC1-RC2/1527

Mask Print 1 scaled - Corona Virus - 3D Printed Face Shield Guide

1. Prepare / Slice 3D File for 3D Printing

First step is to prepare the file, Prusa in their latest file version (RC3) have included a stack able (4 units) which is perfect for leaving during lights-out operations.   

The Creality Ender 3 can fit 8 masks printing at once, however other printers maybe able to handle more or less.    

Band Screen Shot - Corona Virus - 3D Printed Face Shield Guide

2. Start Printing

We’re printing all these parts using Filamentive recycled PLA. As the face shield is single-use, this material was the perfect choice due to its cost, ease and environmental impact (biodegradable). 

PLA is a great, low-cost material which has excellent stiffness and strength properties. It is recyclable and biodegradable.

We recommend the following print settings to achieve the best quality out of your PLA filament (may vary dependent on your filament brand):

Print speed – 90mm/s

Outer perimeter – 70mm/s

Nozzle temperature – 190C

Bed temperature – 60C

Infill – 20%

Layer height – 0.2mm

Mask Print 2 scaled - Corona Virus - 3D Printed Face Shield Guide

3. Part Removal

Once the parts are complete, you must remove these as soon as they’re finished to reduce the risk of contamination. Safety should be the main concern and we’ve listed a few tools that should be used when removing parts. 

N95 rated face mask

Face Shield

Latex Gloves

Mask Print 3 scaled - Corona Virus - 3D Printed Face Shield Guide

Store the parts immediately in a sealable bag.

It’s of up most importance to inform the end user of your 3D printing environment and the precautions you’re taking as an individual or a business to ensure the parts are being kept as clean as possible. 

There is a debate at the moment on how long the bacteria remains on different surfaces, but most sources state 2 – 3 days for plastic. Ideally parts should be held for 2 – 3 days once packaged, this was you’ll greatly reduce the risk of transmission. 

Each bag should be marked / labelled with the following information to ensure full traceability:

  • The shield material
  • Date of printing / time of bag seal
  • Company details 
Bagged Masks scaled - Corona Virus - 3D Printed Face Shield Guide

4. Other Parts

Each mask is made up of the following:

  • 3D printed headband
  • 3D printed base clip
  • Clear face shield
  •  Elastic band

For the elastic band component, we sourced this from online haberdasheries who sold this as 1″ (25mm) wide elastic material. 

The clear face shield component was sourced from Peerless Plastics & Coatings, where it’s been CNC routed out of 0.75mm PETg sheet using the DXF file supplied by Prusa which can be downloaded here

Do you have a 3D printing project we can help with? Please get in touch

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SAM PHOTO - Corona Virus - 3D Printed Face Shield Guide

Sam Gribben

Managing Director at SGD 3D Limited

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