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MIT is using LASERS to make thousands of face shields a day for staff treating coronavirus

MIT has developed disposable face shields for healthcare workers battling the coronavirus that can be massed produced and shipped by the thousands.

The new process involves using lasers to cut sheets of plastic, which are delivered to hospitals where professionals can quickly fold them into the protective gear.

The team is still ramping up developing, but believes the machines can manufacture 50,000 shields per day. 

Because facilities will receive thousands of shields at a time, the masks can be discarded mask after each use.

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MIT has developed disposable face shields for healthcare workers battling the coronavirus that can be massed produced and shipped by the thousands. The new process involves using lasers to cut sheets of plastic, which are delivered to hospitals where professionals can quickly fold them into the protective gear

The US has felt the brunt of the coronavirus, which has create a severe shortage of medical supplies and researchers hope the new design will help elevate the burden.

Elazer R. Edelman, who is he director of MIT’s Institute for Medical Engineering and Science (IMES) and leader of MIT’s personal protective equipment (PPE) task force, said: ‘The lack of adequate protective equipment or the idea of reusing potentially contaminated equipment is especially frightening to health care workers who are putting their lives, and by extension the lives and well-being of their families, on the line every day.

The process is done with a technique called ‘die cutting’, which uses a laser to slice through thousands of flat sheets of plastic per hour.

These sheets are cut in different shapes and placed in a box – allowing all of them to be packed and shipped at once.

The team is still ramping up developing, but believes the machines can manufacture 50,000 shields per day. The technique uses laser to cut through plastic sheets

The team is still ramping up developing, but believes the machines can manufacture 50,000 shields per day. The technique uses laser to cut through plastic sheets

The team is still ramping up developing, but believes the machines can manufacture 50,000 shields per day. The technique uses laser to cut through plastic sheets

Once they arrive at the hospital or medical facility, workers can easily and quickly piece them together to make a three-dimensional face shield.

The design also adds extra protection by covering around the sides and neck of the wearer, with flaps that fold under the neck and over the forehead – all connected with a simple hair tie or rubber band. 

Martin Culpepper, professor of mechanical engineering, director of Project Manus, and a member of MIT’s governance team on manufacturing opportunities for Covid-19, said: ‘These face shields have to be made rapidly and at low cost because they need to be disposable.’

Once they arrive at the hospital or medical facility, workers can easily and quickly piece them together to make a three-dimensional face shield. They start by peeling away the protective cover on each piece

Once they arrive at the hospital or medical facility, workers can easily and quickly piece them together to make a three-dimensional face shield. They start by peeling away the protective cover on each piece

Once they arrive at the hospital or medical facility, workers can easily and quickly piece them together to make a three-dimensional face shield. They start by peeling away the protective cover on each piece

All of the pieces can easily and quickly be put together by healthcare workers. The design allows them to follow instructions and snappy the pieces together

All of the pieces can easily and quickly be put together by healthcare workers. The design allows them to follow instructions and snappy the pieces together

All of the pieces can easily and quickly be put together by healthcare workers. The design allows them to follow instructions and snappy the pieces together

The design also adds extra protection by covering around the sides and neck of the wearer, with flaps that fold under the neck and over the forehead - all connected with a simple hair tie or rubber band

The design also adds extra protection by covering around the sides and neck of the wearer, with flaps that fold under the neck and over the forehead - all connected with a simple hair tie or rubber band

The design also adds extra protection by covering around the sides and neck of the wearer, with flaps that fold under the neck and over the forehead – all connected with a simple hair tie or rubber band

‘Our technique combines low-cost materials with a high-rate manufacturing that has the potential of meeting the need for face shields nationwide.’

The die cutter machines  will eventually produce 50,000 the flat face shields per day in a few weeks.

MIT hopes manufacturing will continue to ramp up and will roll out the technology to more than 80 facilities across the US.

MIT hopes manufacturing will continue to ramp up and will roll out the technology to more than 80 facilities across the US

MIT hopes manufacturing will continue to ramp up and will roll out the technology to more than 80 facilities across the US

MIT hopes manufacturing will continue to ramp up and will roll out the technology to more than 80 facilities across the US

‘This process has been designed in such a way that there is the potential to ramp up to millions of face shields produced per day,’ explains Culpepper.

‘This could very quickly become a nationwide solution for face shield shortages.’

 

Source: dailymail US

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