How You Can Help
We’re all watching the news and the numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases — and deaths — increasing daily. We hear the pleas for help from the medical community and honestly, we are all feeling a little helpless in the face of the Coronavirus. We are looking for ways to help.
Manufacturers across all sectors are seeking to repurpose equipment and adapting product lines to meet demand for items necessary to the COVID-19 pandemic response. Certain medical supplies, such as personal protective equipment (PPE), are in critical demand. Global supply chains are interrupted. Printers and packagers in particular are looking at utilizing capacity to meet the current high demand for such products, with 3D printing spurring further development.
Below are links to various guidance documents, step-by-step instructions, templates, signage, and other information you can use to help. Sometimes, just having a place to start — and something to contribute — can make all the difference.
If you know of other files or information that we should include here, please reach out and let us know so we can include the information here.
The CDC offers free resources including videos, fact sheets, and posters. Click here to view the print resources available.
You can share Coronavirus Response PSA assets to inform Americans about the steps they can take to protect themselves and slow the spread of Coronavirus. The PSAs are available to use free of charge. All PSAs — including additional vertical and square formats — can be downloaded through the Ad Council’s PSA Central platform or downloaded from this page.
If you have access to any public facing digital signage displays, Ping HD welcomes you to use any of its free coronavirus digital signage templates. View them here.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators; those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders. The CDC offers sew and no-sew instructions on creating cloth face masks here.
Delve, Midwest Prototyping, and University of Wisconsin-Madison Makerspace adapted a face shield design used at the University of Wisconsin hospital and found affordable and available bulk materials at online resource McMaster-Carr. If you buy enough material to make 1,000 masks, the cost of goods per mask is $1.70. The Open-Source Face Shield Design is available here (PDF).
The Open Source Face Shield from NYU is a low cost, medical face shield designed to be quickly made using almost any flat material fabrication equipment (laser cutters, rule dies, drag knife, CNC punch, etc.), or even scissors and an office hole punch from any clear flexible material. Find out more here and here.
Many Top Value Fabrics (TVF) customers have utilized their own resources to start producing masks and gowns. If you are interested in helping in a similar way, TVF has provided some mask and gown templates.
Autometrix Inc. is helping PSPs provide emergency PPE to those in need. They are sharing the information and patterns they have collected while working to help its local community. Hopefully some of this information will be useful to others looking to contribute.
The Pella Regional Health Center and the Iowa Department of Public Health offers gown sewing patterns (PDF) along with instructions on how to make fabric masks for those interested in helping healthcare personnel.
FASHION GIRLS FOR HUMANITY is a charitable 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded by fashion industry leaders Julie Gilhart, Kikka Hanazawa, Miki Higasa, and Tomoko Ogura in the wake of the 2011 Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Disaster. FGFH has evolved its mission to bring humanitarian services and funds to communities in need through its global network of fashion and design industry professionals. They are now offering a free medical isolation gown pattern package.
Tukatech is providing patterns for sewn medical products like face masks, hospital gowns, shoe covers, coveralls, blankets, or any other equipment that could help medical professionals in their fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Tukatech Face Mask (ZIP)
- Tukatech Protective Suits (ZIP)
- Tukatech Protective Suits Image renders (ZIP)
Johns Hopkins Medicine offers these directions for a homemade mask (PDF), intended for use in non-patient care settings.
The New York Times has provided this printable face mask tutorial (PDF).
For those interested in making masks to wear in nonclinical settings or for personal use, Kaiser Permanente offers step-by-step instructions (PDF) and an accompanying how-to video. Even homemade masks need to meet certain specifications in order to be effective.
Many makers have asked for a pattern to sew homemade surgical masks for hospitals and their communities. The DIY pattern will teach you to make a cloth pleated face mask with elastic ear loops or fabric ties.
Michigan Health Improvement Alliance provided this mask pattern and instructions for those who want to help health care providers during this crisis.mask pattern and instructions (PDF)
The Minnesota Department of Health offers guidance on alternative facemasks as well as provides print materials that can be used.
- Interim Guidance on Alternative Facemasks (PDF)
- Print Materials including posters, table tents, and brochures
To help support the fight, Gerber created the Gerber PPE Task Force to support its customers as they need to increase their production and/or transition to manufacturing PPE. Joining provides access to a number of resources and services including:
- Production-ready patterns, cut files, markers, tech packs, and more.
- Help with the setup of cutter parameters specific to the selected fabrics.
- Training, software, equipment, and service technicians to ramp up production.
- Support for changing over current production lines to the production of PPE.
- Contact information for fellow suppliers and manufacturers through a PPE Manufacturing Matchmaking Program, making it easier to connect manufacturing capacity of sewing and cutting.
- Introducing existing PPE manufacturers to those converting to PPE production.
- Production-ready files and recommended materials for applications related to labels, placards and signage.
The Federal Drug and Food Administration (FDA), issued guidance on “Technical Considerations for Additive Manufacturing” outlining recommendations for 3D-printed PPE like masks, gowns, and clothing, plus accessories and components of medical devices. The guidance is published in a FAQs format and available here.
HP is providing 3D printable designs to create face shields, stopgap face masks, wrist covers, hands-free 3D-printed door openers, personal door openers, and mask adjusters for use with its HP Multi Jet Fusion technology. View the files here.
Door handles are among the most germ-infested objects in houses, hospitals, factories, and elderly homes. Materialise is sharing free design files to 3D print hands-free door openers. Get these files here.
To bolster the limited supply of PPE masks, Billings Clinic Neurosurgeon, Dusty Richardson, MD, in collaboration with Billings-area dentist Spencer Zaugg, DDS and his son Colton, tapped into their ingenuity to create durable, reusable plastic masks using 3D printer technology. For files and more information on the Montana 3D Mask, visit makethemasks.com.
The Medical University of South Carolina is rising to meet the global challenges created by the pandemic. The Self-Assembly Filtration for Emergencies (S.A.F.E) Cartridge System is a modular HEPA filtration system that can be fitted onto hospital masks such as the disposable AeroEclipse Aerosol Mask made by Monaghan Medical Corporation. The S.A.F.E Cartridge System can also be fitted onto 3D printed masks while maintaining functionality. Conducted by a certified technician, the S.A.F.E. Cartridge System and masks were tested for fit and filtration efficacy utilizing the same test procedure and compound as used in standard N-95 fit tests. The prototypes were deemed effective. For more information, download the S.A.F.E. files here (ZIP).
With medical design and quality health assurance, Kaas Tailored and Nordstrom are manufacturing personal protective equipment for Providence. If you are a manufacturer in one of the states Providence serves — Alaska, California, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, or Washington — and are interested in getting involved, contact the companies via email. If you are a manufacturer in other parts of the country and are interested in producing PPE for your local health system, please contact the American Hospital Association.
Do you need face shields? Can you make them? UW-Madison and UCLA researchers created an automated matching platform to connect organizations in need of face shields with manufacturers that have committed to producing them. The platform considers urgency, order size, manufacturer production rates, and geographic location, and aims to produce matches in a fair and equitable manner.
Denise Gustavson is the Editorial Director and Special Projects Editor for the Printing & Packaging Group, which includes Printing Impressions, packagePRINTING, In-plant Graphics and Wide-Format Impressions magazines, among other brands. She is also the Editor-in-Chief of Wide-Format Impressions.