Architecture schools use digital fab labs to 3D print medical equipment | New


As the COVID-19 crisis continues to worsen and foreseeable shortages of necessary safety and medical equipment begin to materialize, several initiatives involving designers have emerged to help with the production of protective equipment. specialized for doctors and nurses treating sick patients.

Face shields produced quickly

An effort is taking root through a network of partnerships between Barnard College and Columbia University, where librarians, designers and technicians from the school’s Design Center work together to 3D print protective face shields for medical workers.

The project resulted in the Guide and design for face shields produced quickly, a document created by Columbia Digital Scholarship Librarian Alex Gil and Research Data Librarian Moacir P. de Sá Pereira that includes a list of materials and instructions for 3D printing of plastic protective visors for hospital use .

“Although 3D printers can be used to print complex PPE such as N95 masks,” the text on the project’s website reads, “printing a successful mask is beyond the capabilities and budgets of many people who wish to help. On the other hand, 3D printers are very useful for printing visors that can be attached to clear plastic to make face shields. This site provides the documentation and template needed to print visors in 3d.

The visors, according to the designers, are shaped so that the plastic face shield hangs at an angle, away from the user’s face, allowing the user to always wear face masks and other protective gear. while using the visor and shield. The guide linked above includes a 3D printer .stl file along with step-by-step instructions, troubleshooting tips, and a link to #GetUsPPE, a website dedicated to centralizing emergency hospital donation efforts.

A view of the 3D print file of the visor made by teams from Columbia University and Barnard College. Image courtesy of Columbia University Libraries.

Karen Fairbanks, chair of architecture in the Department of Architecture at Barnard and Columbia College and founding partner of Marble Fairbanks, tells Archinect that the effort arose out of communications between a Columbia librarian, Madiha Choksi, and the cardiologist at the Columbia University, Dr Pierre Elias, who focused on whether the school’s digital manufacturing facilities could be tapped to help bring more supplies to local hospital workers.

“Madiha only had two 3D printers that she installed in her home to start prototyping an optimized version of a shield,” says Fairbanks. “We heard about the project from Barnard Librarians and will be using the Barnard Design Center’s eight 3D printers and Barnard’s Department of Architecture to help with this effort, and we’ll also be using the design center space to assemble masks. The project is rapidly expanding to include donations to more hospitals. “

Screenshot of another 3D printed face harness design. Image courtesy of Princeton School of Architecture.

Action Oriented Open Source Research

At Princeton University, the school’s research dean recently approved an “action-oriented open source research agenda,” a project initiated by the Black Box Research Group. The Black Box Research Group is an academic effort led by Assistant Professor V. Mitch McEwen of Princeton SoA; McEwen is also a co-founder of the architectural firm A (n) Office.

The research program aims to convert Princeton’s School of Architecture’s sprawling digital fabrication labs into a “New Jersey essential operation”, allowing technicians to come together to help fabricate protective masks, face harnesses, shields , Tyvek gowns, test children, temporary hospitals, and even respirators and ventilators.

A website supporting the project provides a Google Form for interested volunteers as well as a collection of 3D printing files and resources for designers.

3D printed mask harness created by Jenny Sabin Studio. Image courtesy of Jenny Sabin Studio.

McEwen worked to organize resources and information for the effort via Twitter and recently announced the addition of team members from Cornell University School of Architecture, Art, and Planning (AAP), where Cornell Professor Jenny Sabin is leading efforts between university architecture, engineering and medical schools focused on making PPE for the effort.

In a statement sent to Archinect Sabin wrote, “In order to scale up the effort quickly, AAP contacted our amazing alumni network, and within 24-48 hours our alumni not only joined the 3D printing efforts. , but also leveraged their networks. Within hours Handel Associates, KPF, BIG, Grimshaw, [and] Terreform, to name a few, started 3D printing the PPE face shield visors and laser cutting the shield. Alumni practice leaders (Vivian Kuan, Blake Middleton, Michael Manfredi, Dan Kaplan, Brad Perkins, Doug Gensler, Susan Rodriguez, David Lewis, Rosalie Genevro have also leveraged their networks. Through these networks, partners of industry such as g-Create, a 3D printer manufacturer, and organizations such as NYSCF (New York Stem Cell Foundation Research Institute) and Parsons faculty have also joined the effort.

Photo of Cornell’s fleet of 3D printers. Image courtesy of Kurt Brosnan and Tyler Williams for Cornell AAP.

In a statement supporting the effort, Cornell AAP Dean Meejin Yoon writes, “The just-in-time economics of our supply chain logistics has created a gap in our current urgent demand for PPE that has taken the industry to the forefront. devoid, ”adding,“ Although our ‘fast’ prototyping machines are not intended for industrial scale manufacturing and, by these standards, are not ‘fast’, as the industry intensifies, our distributed manufacturing capabilities can fill this critical gap to help those on the front lines of the COVID-19 health crisis.

At New York City College, Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture (SSA) Dean Lesley Lokko writes: “The Spitzer School of Architecture and the J Max Bond Center have mobilized their 3D fabrication resources with the Grove School of Engineering and the Zahn Support center [PPE] production in New York and around the world. The objective is to provide institutional support to alleviate the PPE shortages affecting healthcare professionals fighting against Covid-19. This is an unprecedented coordination effort among CCNY departments to pool the resources, expertise and volunteer talents of faculty and students on the City College of New York campus.

3D printing facilities at CCNY Spitzer School. Image courtesy of the Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture.

Lokko adds, “Ten of SSA’s latest 2019 model 3D printers will be relocating to NYC Makes PPE’s central production lab in lower Manhattan to be part of a growing consortium of institutions and organizations that have produced and delivered more. of 2,300 PPE as of March 27 at New York Region Hospitals. NYC Makes PPE is also running a gofundme campaign to cover the material costs of all manufactured PPE donated to hospitals. “

The late architecture critic and professor Michael Sorkin, who died of complications from COVID-19, was a professor at SSA and the school’s efforts, according to Lokko, are tied, in part, to respecting the memory of Sorkin.

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