iMask was taken
Glad to see Apple really doing something for the cause!
Apple has designed a face shield to help health workers stay safer when working around the novel coronavirus. The Register can't quite believe the company hasn't called it the iMask. The fruity firm does appear to have come up with a pleasing design that uses just three components, can be assembled in moments, and doesn't have …
On a similar note, I keep reading these stories of companies putting the design and engineering teams to work to come up with their own unique design for face masks while the internet is already drowning in many, many design specs for masks. I don't think I've heard of a single report of a company saying, "hey, we got this free design off the internnt, confirmed it was good, and started making 1000's of them. Thanks designer, that saved us a couple of days of R&D and got the masks out the door quicker."
The cynic in me wonders if all these company designed ones have the company logo on them and how much that adds to the production process both in time and money. When you are making 1000's at high speed, an extra second per unit soon mounts up.
That would depend on whether the step can be added into the existing line or if it's an extra step that has to be added onto the end of the process. Hopefully, it's just a dabber or roller process as part of the existing line, in which case, no, it won't add time.
I suspect the main problem (which was also holding back other US companies) is their infernal legal system which allows anyone to milk a manufacturer for billions if they fail to mention that eating a mask may hurt your intestines.
By producing in-house, they may have more control over their liability exposure.
It's just a theory, but I have seen the spectre of litigation show up in more than one discussion about doing something to help. IMHO, if there's something useful that Trump's lot could do with their subversion of the legal system, it would be suspending liability exposure for companies doing something positive for healthcare worker protection. They need it, and they certainly deserve it.
> IMHO, if there's something useful that Trump's lot could do with their subversion of the legal system, it would be suspending liability exposure for companies doing something positive for healthcare worker protection.
And then come 2035, we have massive waves of healthcare workers or patients who were front lines in 2020 and survived the Covids dropping dead because companies excited at being freed from liability exposure turned massive stockpiles of turbo-toxo-carcinogens they were hiding from the regulators and trying to dupe a third-world country into taking into face masks and ventilators.
"3D printing these at home for the last weeks"
It's a poor use of a 3D printer. A steel rule die in a clicker press can bang out orders of magnitudes more face shields in an hour than a 3d printer can in a day.
I like that Apple made them very simple. It makes them easier to dispose of and very fast to make.
> It's a poor use of a 3D printer. A steel rule die in a clicker press can bang out orders of magnitudes more face shields in an hour than a 3d printer can in a day.
Thing is most folks don't have steel rule dies or clicker presses.
Sometimes you make do with what you have, and what you have is way more technical and complicated than the machines you really need to make the widget you need, but you don't have those machines, you have the 3d printer. And it's doubtful that you can use the 3d printer to make those machines, and even if you can, it will certainly take ages and probably involve a few failures.
"Still, I wonder why shields rather than masks which are used by all their production plants?"
To be honest, both are needed. Masks help, but become saturated after a short period of time, and thus need to be changed. Being hard plastic, shields can be sterilised by being wiped down with sanitiser, and don't need changing every couple of hours. They also provide protection for the eyes, which is another infection vector for COVID.
Because they've already donated masks sourced from within their supply chain.
This is something they can actually produce quickly, rather than having to retool. It won't stop you from breathing it in, but it will stop droplets of spittle hitting your face when someone coughs, and will be a handy reminder not to touch your face to begin with.
I did see that CDT teachers in two schools had made nearly 1000 visors and donated them to their local hospitals/healthcare workers (bonus of being local - it's really easy to make sure your thing reaches those who need it quick, instead of sitting in a logistics hub while you work out how to distribute it). :)
Pretty much what BrewDog discovered when they tried making hand sanitiser for local hospitals. Turns out that standards and specifications are a thing and that not just anyone can have-a-go at creating medical supplies, who knew?
Similarly all the drugs Trump is touting at the moment (including offering them to Boris) - none of them tested or certified, but to quote the Donald "What's the harm in trying it?". Turns out, a lot if it causes side-effects.
Ah, Apple belatedly discovers the Prusa mask 3D printing project (https://blog.prusaprinters.org/from-design-to-mass-3d-printing-of-medical-shields-in-three-days/) that practically every single enthusiast in the world is frantically knocking out at high rate.
Nice of them to join in, albeit very late to the party; so frigging many masks have been delivered in the last two weeks that in the UK companies like BT have (at least locally) been acting as communication, distribution and supply hubs to keep maximum rate production going, and making sure that the masks are getting to where they are most needed.
I think we'll probably have delivered enough that everybody down to care workers will have them by the time they get made in a factory in China and then shipped intercontentially. The thought's nice though.
I think the 3D mask printing efforts have been amazing and laudable, but it's about time someone with a decent injection moulding plant weighed in on this. Injection moulding machines could turn out the parts that take minutes or hours to print in about 15 seconds. So kudos to Apple, and once a few plants are churning these out, .and lets turn the innovative energy of the makers to the next problem
Injection moulding machines are being used to produce some things but I think you might be surprised at the total overall productivity of the home grade 3D printing effort.
The local makerspace groups have been at it in a systematic way for over two weeks picking people up as they go. People have been knocking these out at a rate of 5 a day (with very low end gear) to over 40 a day at the higher end. With a hundred people across the county knocking them out, at an absolute low that's about 500 produced a day, 3500 this week.
While the group doesn't have a tally running because the yare being shipped off for collection then (being here i'm IT staff obviously and have worked in the local NHS trust) so I know that our low production estimate has produced more masks than the total number of NHS staff in our county.
Which is sort of my point; at the moment the NHS have been done, the care staff in care homes have them (where they have appropriate cleaning measures for the masts in place) and people are talking about if production ought to be going to supermarket staff. By the time a few plants in China have produced a worthwhile number to be flown across the planet in another weeks time then who's going to be needing them?
The situation might be different in America since I suspect there is going to be less local support for the "for profit" businesses that form their healthcare system.
"People have been knocking these out at a rate of 5 a day (with very low end gear) to over 40 a day at the higher end."
I'm not convinced that 3D printing is even needed. One CDT teacher made 200 visors in a day from what looked like a look of fabric and sheet of acetate/bendy clear plastic. Crude, but does the job, and very quick to make.
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sorry folks, as someone (not in IT air-con) this is the same shit design that's been around for ever, it too close to face so every berth fogs it up, a simple ridge that directs your breath away from where you are trying to see makes such a difference, done the experience when my own hands were at risk and health and safety are stupid , 15 mill of pad on front of band helps and a ridge of blue tac about 20 mm above nose extending to 25 -30 mm at cheeks makes a huge difference to fogging and keeps H&S happy ( and hands undamaged).
No evidence of any IThought here, designed in marketing dept.
I'm part of an active Ozzie group of 3D printers helping to provide masks to GP and hospitals/medical facilities in each State.
We have 'team leaders' who liaise with the appropriate folks in 'the system' who indicate which design is appropriate to their facility (there are many different designs) so we don't waste time printing stuff destined to the bin, like so many currently online.
It's about putting useable PPE in the hands of those who need it most.
Under the circumstances any way to increase PPE for staff is great and one would hope many of the large manufacturers around the place are able to contribute with useful kit.
So kudos for apple (and Nike, too, I believe, as well as a few others around the globe). Every bit helps, I'm sure.
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