Why are Face Shields/Visors needed today:
The global COVID-19 pandemic has created a shortage across the UK in terms of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) for hospitals, key workers in communities and local doctors surgeries.
The NHS are trying to provide PPE, but there are delays and costs associated with this, we aim to help local hospitals and front line workers/ care givers quickly. We can 3d print every day and drop off next day if PPE is short to help in the interim.
Why are Face Shields/Visors important:
Face shields/Visors are PPE devices that are used by many workers (e.g., medical, care workers) for protection of the facial area and associated mucous membranes (eyes, nose, mouth) from splashes, sprays, and spatter of body fluids so essential in the war against COVID-19.
It also stops the user from touching their face which again is a must in protecting the user.
PPE is so important for front line workers to wear as not only does it STOP them catching the virus by acting as a barrier but it can also stop the user from spreading the virus to others. If all the teams in hospitals and at care homes get ill, then there will be additional problems where there will be no one available to give care in hospitals/at care homes/at surgeries.
Who are we:
Aetha Design Studio are a small product design consultancy who have an on-site workshop with 3d printers available to use. We are based on the South Coast in Poole and are lucky enough to be able to keep working (albeit from our temporary studio at home)
Our team are made up of 3 x Product Designers (Tom, Josh & Dan) including 2 x Ex Dyson engineers and Sophie, who is in charge of project management and the office. We are a small team but dedicated to helping where we can.
We decided to rough test and print the first version of our face shield which was tested in Poole Hospital by a lab researcher (and personal friend to Sophie) who gave feedback before we made V2. V2 was then looked at and tested by a GP Doctor and everyone agreed the iterations made with feedback from the Doctors meant we were ready for our first batch production.
"The longer visors help better protect our staff from droplet inhalation and aerosol splashing when handling samples in the lab. We are all super appreciative for the protection, it enables us to keep working in this infectious environment."
Bonnie Stanley, Biomedical Scientist (Poole Hospital) who helped test the first model of face shield.
Why we started this effort to help:
We were talking to friends who were Doctors & Nurses 2 weeks ago who said they were looking for face shields/visors at work and there were not enough to cover everyone working in the wards so we printed them some for their own personal use and their teams. Word spread quickly and before we knew it, Sophie was getting phone calls from hospitals in the local area and face book messages from local nurses. We donated them to anyone needing them as they aren't official PPE spec and we are not professional medical experts but we have tested them with Doctors locally who have all agreed they are fit for purpose and they would rather have something than nothing.
Where are the Face Shields/Visors already:
We have already donated 50 to Bournemouth & Christchurch Hospital, small batches to Poole Hospital and Lilliput GP Surgery.
We have demand for 120+ face shields which Sophie & the team are busy making this week before the bank holiday weekend but we are aware that we are running low on filament (needed to print the visor crowns) and acetate for further demand next week. Our printers are also at capacity, printing all day and overnight.
What we hope to achieve with crowdfunding:
Our vision is to continue making batches for our local hospitals, any care homes (if they need them) and the local surgeries as interim solutions until bigger NHS supplies arrive.
We are local so happy to drop off/or have people collect from us but we do not want to charge anything to the NHS/Front line workers. We have donated everything from materials to time so far and it is working well and we wish to continue this way.
Feedback on the design from professionals:
We have had feedback from NHS nurses & GP Doctors saying the crown is comfortable to wear, the elastic (non latex) works well as can be adjusted to suit size of users head and the actual sheet is long enough to give all over neck protection so we know the solution we provide works well.
The materials are:
- PLA for the 3D printed crown part
- Acetate/Laminate for the screen
- Polypropylene Elastic cord (no latex) for the head band for fit
- The screen is A4 in length so we have been told it provides good length protection
Our design has NO logo on it and no fancy detailing. The print is 1 hour and very simple. We are happy to share the file if people want to help produce the same quality of face shield.
Why we are looking for your help:
We are a small business and have already made over 100 and hope to self fund the first 200 however filament is expensive and so is acetate. We are happy to donate our time in making them, our 3d printers in making them but we need more materials. We want your help to keep us making these.
We started getting asked by friends & family if they could donate towards materials so we decided to run this crowdfunder page to make it more official. We are not going to keep any money from this - all donations will be used to buy filament/print more crowns/buy acetate for the shields and arrange deliveries.
We want to thank all our clients who have supported us in the early stages of this mission by allowing us to work on this while working with them on their projects and we obviously want to say thank you to all our NHS heroes who are risking their lives while working with the NHS.
This is a small way we can help and we hope it makes a difference to those who we know are making a massive difference where it counts most.