Help in the fight against coronavirus: face protection by Foster + Partners
Architects: Foster + Partners
Reusable, washable and quick to produce in large numbers: the design for a covid-19 face shield designed by a team of experts from Foster + Partners is freely available as an open-source file for non-commercial mass production. Industrial designers, the model-building department, architects as well as analysts from the international architecture studio conceived the coronavirus shield according to the guiding principle of making pandemic protection as quickly as possible and in large numbers. The templates and material specifications have been put online as an open-source design that will be available under the Creative Commons public license.
The shield comprises three individual parts: a visor made of thermoplastic polymer (PET) measuring 0.5 mm in thickness, a plastic headband and a strap of silicone rubber that connects the two elements. Each piece takes 30 seconds to manufacture with a laser cutter and a minute to assemble. One of the decisive advantages of the shield, particularly for hospital use, is that it can be disassembled and disinfected as individual components.
From architecture studio to hospital
At the offices of Foster + Partners, 1,000 prototypes of the face shields were made in one day − a number that would have been impossible without the use of 3D printer technology. The protective devices have been distributed to several hospitals in London, where they are currently being tested. The aim is that thanks to open-source data, the design for the shields will be taken up as quickly as possible by companies that will manufacture and distribute them in large quantities for non-commercial purposes.