Foster+Partners' Face shield design prototype - Courtesy of Foster+Partners.

Face shield design – Courtesy of Foster+Partners.

Coronavirus – In the wake of a global shortage of PPE – Personal Protective Equipment – companies, architects and designers conceived innovative face shields for doctors and nurses fighting the pandemic and quickly set up production chains able to provide thousands of visors per day. All the simple yet practical designs are made from cheap and easy to find materials and can be easily assembled in less than 2 minutes.


Apple Face Shield - Courtesy of Apple-

Image by Apple.

On Sunday, Apple CEO Tim Cook tweeted that the tech-giant was designing and producing face shields with the intention of shipping them to medical workers. The design is composed of a transparent visor and a forehead band, both with matching different slots on the sides, and a latex-free silicone strap. By feeding the strap through the slots the face shield can be easily adjusted to fit different head sizes as well as providing either a regular fit or offering extra space.

The visors are designed to pack flat to 100 per box, and can be assembled in less than two minutes. Additional help is provided in the form of a video tutorial for assembly, a printable copy of the in-box instructions. Apple warns users to wear it “in addition to other personal protective equipment” and that “should not be exposed to high heat.”


NIke's Face Shield - Photo by Nike.

Courtesy of Nike.

Nike has teamed up with health professionals at the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) to design and produce face shields made from the company’s owned materials. Indeed, elements of the brand’s footwear and apparel have been transformed. “Collar padding once destined for shoes is repurposed; cords originally earmarked for apparel reconsidered; and, most importantly, the thermoplastic polyurethane component of a Nike signature —the Nike Air soles— reimagined.”

The three parts of the full-face shield come together in a streamlined nine-step process. This has been formalized through a collaborative effort between Nike’s Innovation teams and manufacturing groups at Air MI – Nike’s Air Manufacturing Innovation – facilities in Oregon and Missouri. The first shipment of donated full-face shields has been delivered to OHSU on April 3, 2020.

MIT – Massachusetts Institute of Technology

MIT'S disposable single piece face shields design - Photo by Project Manus, courtesy of MIT.

Photo by Project Manus, courtesy of MIT.

A team from the MIT launched mass manufacturing of a new technique to meet the high demand for disposable face shields. Made from polycarbonate and polyethylene terephthalate glycol (PETG) materials, each single piece will be made using a process known as die cutting that allows a mass production of 50,000 face shields per day.

Our technique combines low-cost materials with a high-rate manufacturing that has the potential of meeting the need for face shields nationwide.” Explains Martin Culpepper, professor of mechanical engineering, director of Project Manus, and a member of MIT’s governance team on manufacturing opportunities for Covid-19. Once boxes of these flat sheets arrive at hospitals, health care professionals can quickly fold them into three-dimensional face shields before adjusting for their faces.


Foster+Partners' Face shield design prototype - Courtesy of Foster+Partners.

Courtesy of Foster+Partners.

Foster+Partners has shared its design for a prototype face visor on an open-source asset so others can replicate the design. The personal protective equipment comprises a PETG visor, an interlocking soft headband and a surgical silicone rubber head strap, all cut on a digital flatbed cutter and assembled in under a minute. The studio has already cut and assembled components for 1,000 masks in a day.

Foster+Partners' Face shield design prototype - Photo by Face Foster+Partners.

Courtesy of Foster+Partners.