Fast development and ramp up of faceshield production fighting shortage during Covid19 pandemic

In times of Covid-19 the DMRC and partners became active helping hospitals and social institutions with additive manufactured personal protective equipment. Together with medical device manufacturer Condor MedTec and several hospitals in and close to Paderborn, the project team defined the requirements for the faceshields.

In addition to the demands on functionality, the design considers the advantages and conditions of additive manufacturing in the laser sintering process. Thus, the design takes advantage of the design freedomes and integrates various functionalities. At the same time, process-related influences are considered in order to be able to produce a high number of parts in a reliable and cost-effective way.

Requirements

To meet the high standards for medical products, the faceshields had to fulfill several requirements, which goes from several end user demands, as one size fits all, protection from liquid droplets also from above or easy to sanitize (no corners, pockets or rough surface), over the comfort and weight by wearing this pease of personal protection equipment.

On the laser sintering side, the requirements are equally demanding, as the faceshield holder should contain less parts as possible with integrated fastening mechanism for the visor itself and the headband. At the time elastic straps were not deliverable, hence all components shall be laser sintered. The parts shall be dense nested, hence the design was adapted to fit perfectly together and allowed up to 136 faceshield holders and headbands to be manufactured on an EOS P3 at a total build job height of 353 mm. Additionally, the main load directions, the maximal exposure area and time per layer, part and frame distances have been optimized.

Achievements

4500 face shield holder and headbands have been manufactured by the DMRC and Condor MedTec with the sponsored material from EOS and Evonik. Visors were manufactured by Centroplast and cut by LST-Laserschneidtechnik. The AM personal protective equipment parts have been sponsored to hospitals and social institutions in need.

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Dr.-Ing. Christian-Friedrich Lindemann

Direct Manufacturing Research Center (DMRC) (until 2022)

Managing Director

Write email +49 5251 60-5415