Dr. Tarek Loubani, a Canadian emergency room doctor, has taken it upon himself to produce 3D printed face shields for his fellow front-line medical workers across the country. This is not the first time that Dr. Loubani has used his interest in 3D printing for good: the doctor actually started a medical supplies charity to provide low-cost medical devices and supplies to conflict zones, such as Gaza.
While the international charity, called the Glia Project, has traditionally focused on supplying parts like stethoscopes and tourniquets, Dr. Loubani is now using some of the charity’s 3D printing equipment to make face shields for medical workers—a potentially life-saving piece of protective gear that is in increasingly short supply.
Dr. Loubani decided to take action after seeing the dramatic growth in COVID-19 cases around the world, as well as the increasingly urgent demand from the hardest-hit nations for more protective face shields and masks for medical workers.
As the doctor told Canadian broadcaster CBC, “As we started to see the numbers increasing, it became obvious that Canada will very much have the same trajectory as everywhere else. That’s when we realized if everybody else is running out of face shields and other personal protective equipment, then so will we.”
The result of his efforts is an easy-to-make face shield that is made from 3D printed plastic, a Mylar sheet and an elastic. The face mask essentially covers the whole face, acting as a transparent block between the face and any droplets from patients. Dr. Loubani says the masks can be used in addition to N95 face masks or as an alternative if masks are in short supply.
For those interested in bringing the Glia Project’s 3D printed face shield to other regions of the world that in need of supplies, Dr. Loubani has uploaded the mask files on GitHub. The charity’s other 3D printable medical devices are also available for free download. Clear printing, assembly, and sterilization instructions are available with the files. The 3D printing face shield is a modified version of this original design.