In the current Covid-19 pandemic, healthcare workers are at much higher risk due to increased exposure to infected individuals. This is particularly even more relevant to dental personnel actively exposed to oro-nasal aerosols from procedures. Among several approaches to address the PPE shortages, our 3D-printing volunteer group has been actively pursuing additive 3D printing as a potential avenue for custom-designed, long-term sustainable (reusable) PPE. Our goal is to provide these products to our local community as a service since the 3D PPE will improve comfort and compliance in accordance with NY state, CDC recommendations, and the American Dental Association.
What it does
Our face shields specifically provide dentists with PPE that allows them to wear their loupes comfortably because the loupe lights are located outside the face shield. A common problem that dentists have with the face shield is that the loupes will not fit underneath the shield properly, and this often causes the dentist to have to operate without their loupes. Operation without loupes can significantly impact the quality of their work. By moving the light outside of the face shield, we can help mitigate this issue.
How we built it
We obtained measurements from various loupe lights using calipers to design a mount from scratch that would be compatible with the loupes. We used free CAD software, specifically Meshmixer, to create STL files and convert them into gcode which allowed us to print physical copies of our prototypes on a Prusa MK3S.
Challenges we ran into
Our original prototype had the light extended out too far, resulting in the light being outside of the field of vision where our patient would be. The face shield evolved multiple times in order to achieve the correct path for light to travel towards the intraoral cavity. Version 1: The light did not illuminate patient's mouth Version 2: The light was mounted outside of the dentist's line of sight, thus preventing a consistent illumination and the need for constant adjustment Version 3: Built a 2 piece drop down mount to place the light in the line of vision. This helps to eliminate the need for adjustment.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are proud that as dental students and a grad student with no engineering background, we were able to problem solve various challenges that we encountered. In addition to the science and technology aspect, learning how to run a business effectively and efficiently the last few months has taught us a lot. We are proud to be helping the healthcare professionals in our community during this pandemic. Our future goals include hosting work shops for local dentists so they can be self reliant and also offer events for kids to encourage them to pursue an STEM profession.