Simple origami face shield can be folded from single sheet of plastic
Researchers at the University of Cambridge and the University of Queensland have created the HappyShield, an origami face shield that is made by folding a sheet of clear plastic.
Designed by the University of Cambridge's Centre for Natural Material Innovation and University of Queensland's Folded Structures Lab, the HappyShield is made using curved-crease origami.
By folding along the curved-creases on the template any clear sheet material can be combined with a piece of elastic to create a face shield.
The origami face shield is designed to be simpler than other options available and can be made with out specialist equipment using widely available materials.
"It only requires a clear sheet and elastic," explained Michael Ramage, head of the Centre for Natural Material Innovation at the University of Cambridge.
"Most masks that are being made require either a 3D printer for the head clasp, or a foam block for the forehead," he told Dezeen. "This is simpler to make, and needs no special tools.
As it can be made using only a pair of scissors, or easily mass manufactured, the designers believe that the HappyShield could be used in less wealthy regions of the world where personal protective equipment (PPE) is less readily available.
"The curved crease fold is simple," he said. "It can be made by hand or mass manufactured, either with a press and laser cutter – instructions for this are on GitHub – or pressed all at once from a die. It's not expensive to make at all."
"It's viable anywhere in the world, whatever your resources," he continued.
The face shield is assembled by folding along the curved lines to form a three dimensional form that has a face shield portion, a visor and a forehead rest. The stiff form is designed to evenly distribute pressure on the wearer's head and evenly position the face shield away from their face.
As it is only folded, it can also be easily disassembled to be cleaned and disinfected for reuse.
Like other face shields, the HappyShield is designed to protects the wearer from liquids directly in front of them, however due to the folded nature of the design it also offers protection from above.
"The single sheet of clear material is continuous, so protects against liquid/spray from above as well," said Ramage. "It is comfortable – clinical engineering tests here require it to be comfortable for a minimum of fours hours of wear, which it is."
If manufactured using a die-cutting machines, which are normally used to make food packing cartons, the team estimate that a single facility could manufacture up to 50,000 face shields a day.
The HappyShield, is the latest face mask created by designer and architects reacting to the global shortage of PPE. British architecture studio Foster + Partners has created a reusable open-source face shield, while MIT have also made a one-piece plastic shield.
Project team: Wesam Al Asali, Aurimas Bukauskas, Will Hawkins, Joe Gattas, Ana Gatóo, Yelda Gin, Aftab Jalia, Antiopi Koronaki, Jeff Lee, Ana Maia, Josh Newman, Daniel Ott, Michael Ramage, Millie Robin, Darshil Shah