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Open AccessArticle

3-D Printed Protective Equipment during COVID-19 Pandemic

1
Department of Orthodontics, Dentofacial Orthopedics and Pedodontics, Charité—Universitätsmedizin Berlin, corporate member of Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and Berlin Institute of Health, Aßmannshauser Str. 4–6, 14197 Berlin, Germany
2
Department of Prosthetic Dentistry, Medical Center—University of Freiburg, Center for Dental Medicine, Hugstetter Str. 55, 79106 Freiburg, Germany
3
Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Medical Center—University of Freiburg, Center for Dental Medicine, Hugstetter Str. 55, 79106 Freiburg, Germany
4
Medical Center—University of Freiburg, Center for Dental Medicine, Department of Operative Dentistry and Periodontology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Freiburg, Hugstetter Str. 55, 79106 Freiburg, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Materials 2020, 13(8), 1997; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13081997
Received: 7 April 2020 / Revised: 20 April 2020 / Accepted: 23 April 2020 / Published: 24 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current and Future Trends in Dental Materials)
While the number of coronavirus cases from 2019 continues to grow, hospitals are reporting shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline healthcare workers. Furthermore, PPE for the eyes and mouth, such as face shields, allow for additional protection when working with aerosols. 3-D printing enables the easy and rapid production of lightweight plastic frameworks based on open-source data. The practicality and clinical suitability of four face shields printed using a fused deposition modeling printer were examined. The weight, printing time, and required tools for assembly were evaluated. To assess the clinical suitability, each face shield was worn for one hour by 10 clinicians and rated using a visual analogue scale. The filament weight (21–42 g) and printing time (1:40–3:17 h) differed significantly between the four frames. Likewise, the fit, wearing comfort, space for additional PPE, and protection varied between the designs. For clinical suitability, a chosen design should allow sufficient space for goggles and N95 respirators as well as maximum coverage of the facial area. Consequently, two datasets are recommended. For the final selection of the ideal dataset to be used for printing, scalability and economic efficiency need to be carefully balanced with an acceptable degree of protection. View Full-Text
Keywords: 3-D printing; COVID-19; personal protective equipment; face shield 3-D printing; COVID-19; personal protective equipment; face shield
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Wesemann, C.; Pieralli, S.; Fretwurst, T.; Nold, J.; Nelson, K.; Schmelzeisen, R.; Hellwig, E.; Spies, B.C. 3-D Printed Protective Equipment during COVID-19 Pandemic. Materials 2020, 13, 1997.

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