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Reusable, origami-style face shield helps to fight COVID-19

Reusable, origami-style face shield helps to fight COVID-19

The innovative “HappyShield” is created using “curved-crease origami,” in which a clear sheet of plastic is first creased and then folded to create the shield, visor and forehead rest from a single piece of plastic. The original protective virus solution can be made easily by folding a piece of clear plastic, Springwise reports.

The University of Cambridge Centre for Natural Material Innovation and University of Queensland Folded Structures Lab have developed a reusable face shield created by folded a single flat sheet of clear plastic material. The idea of origami could be applicable to almost everything, the researchers say. In addition, simple design allows for easy cleaning and disinfection, reducing demand for disposable face shields.

Their “HappyShield” made of a flat sheet of plastic and when combined with a strap, transforms into a three-dimensional barrier which is rigidly positioned at the right distance to provide space for goggles and a respirator underneath, said Michael Ramage from the UoC.

The shield is as simple as genial, in fact. The simple design allows the shield to be created from any clear plastic sheet using a variety of methods, ranging from those requiring just a pair of scissors, a ruler, and a ballpoint pen, to those which use retooled die-cutting machines for mass production.

The design is available for free, along with instructions and a video showing how to make a HappyShield using only materials found around the home.

As the pandemic spreads, scientists, designers and engineers around the world have rushed to design cheaper and faster ways to manufacture protective equipment. From people sewing masks at home, to 3D-printed face shields, Mercedes-designed breathing aids and converting distilleries to hand sanitiser production, everyone is pitching in to help.

Frankly, HappyShield is an optimal option for use in places with fewer resources. While the poor nations are struggling to find enough protective gear for their health professionals, the self-made plastic shield could be an answer. Additionally, the project follows a now-familiar model of experts using their knowledge to produce innovations to help in the fight against the COVID-19.