COVID-19

Open Hardware Projects to Fight COVID-19

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Open hardware projects and campaigns against COVID-19 have been on our company radar since the start of the pandemic. As I know for many engineers and designers are looking to contribute an effort against the COVID-19.

As of July 2021, there have been more than 25,000+ daily cases in Indonesia, which surpassed the United States. As an initiative to combat the spread of this virus, I have listed open hardware projects to help fight the pandemic.

I will continue to research and update this list over the months ahead. So, please check back regularly to discover more projects.

DISCLAIMER! Some of these projects are in use by medical professionals, but others are experimental. If you plan to try designing your open hardware project to fight COVID-19, consult with healthcare professionals so you can provide medically appropriate solutions.

Face Shields

People wear face shields in addition to the masks, or as an alternative to masks. Combined with masks and good hygiene practices, both effectively block particle transmissions up to 95%.

Loma Linda University Health says, “Face shields are beneficial if someone cannot wear a mask. If someone coughs 18 inches from you while wearing a face shield, the immediate viral exposure is reduced by 96%. If the person remains coughing and talking with you for 30 minutes, then the face shield blocks 68% of the small air particles.”

Video by VICE News, how 3D-printed face shields are protecting hospital workers from Coronavirus

Most face shields do not feature moving parts. That means that they are relatively easy to make with a 3D printer. Here are some notable face shield projects:

  • PRUSA / Download / Assembly Guide
    You can download a design for a face shield for free from this 3D printing company founded by Jo Prusa. You can print 4 bands simultaneously with the latest R3 iteration. The Czech Ministry of Health has given this project preliminary verifications.
  • Budmen Industries / Download
    Along with a face shield design, this company offers an online system to match up medical workers with people willing to print new face shields to aid in protective gears distribution.
  • Glia / Download
    Practicing doctors and medical students in Canada have collaborated to offer CAD and STL files for face shields through the Glia COVID-19 Face Shield project.

Face Masks

Unlike Face Shields, Face Masks production requires extensive testing using specialized equipment to filter pathogens and microbes effectively.

Researchers from Japan testing masks using real Coronavirus sample

NPR explains, “Both the masks made for medical personnel and consumer purchase require a once-obscure material called melt-blown fabric. It’s an extremely fine mesh of synthetic polymer fibers that forms the critical inner filtration layer of a mask, allowing the wearer to breathe while reducing the inflow of possible infectious particles.”

Fortunately researchers and engineers from universities have found solutions.

  • Medical University of South Carolina / Instructions
    Researchers at this school have designed a mask that can be made with a 3D printer. It uses modular HEPA filter cartridges to protect the wearer from the virus. You can download the files and instructions from the university’s website.

Ventilators

COVID-19 is known deadly for its hypoxia and happy hypoxia. When a patient cannot breathe on their own, they may be placed on a ventilator to breathe for them. As with masks and shields, the demand for ventilators during the pandemic has outpaced supply.

Video by Rush University System for Health, how ventilators help patients with COVID-19

Because Ventilators is a complex piece of equipment and critical to keep people alive, making sure it works flawlessly without interruption must be a top priority. I recommend learning how these complex machines work and consult with medical professionals prior to attempting to build a ventilator.

You can check Ventilators 101: What They Do And How They Work by Hackaday to learn more about how Ventilators work.

  • OxVent / Contact
    Contact Oxford University and Kings College London for the plans and files for OxVent. With a 3D printer and “off-the-shelf” parts, you should be able to build this ventilator. While the readily available materials are part of what makes this design exciting, it also is built to be fast and easy to deploy in emergencies.
  • E-Vent / Instructions
    You can find the plans for this system featuring an automated bag-valve-mask design on the MIT website. Like OxVent, E-Vent is designed with accessibility and efficiency in mind.

Misc Hardware

Below are instructions for building a positive pressure PPE suit, courtesy of Civilpedia. I am not positive how reliable this design is, but we need all hands on deck to combat this pandemic.

https://civilpedia.org/p/?pid=336

Do you know of any high-quality open hardware projects to fight COVID-19 that are not listed here? Please contact me so I can review them for possible addition to this list.

Good luck with your endeavors in the future, and stay safe.

- End of Transmission

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