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After consulting with our local hospital system to determine their exact requirements, we searched out and selected a proven, open-source design for a 3D-printed shield frame, developed by a leading 3D printing firm called Prusa Research. The Prusa design provided the critical clearance necessary for medical workers to wear their N95 masks under the shield, so we quickly set to work, using six of our own newly purchased industrial 3D printers to begin production at the Rogue factory here in Columbus. We also shared our Rogue-adapted shield design and printing instructions on social media for others to make. Overnight, several companies and individuals joined us in this effort, but we knew we still needed to do more to keep up with rapidly increasing PPE demand.
For “phase two,” we reached out to a local injection molding company and worked with them to modify the face shield’s design into something that could be molded and produced on an industrial scale. Rather than the normal 8 week process to make a mold, the company turned around the prototype in just 4 days, with the addition of a visor as extra protection for the wearer. Soon, they were making thousands of Rogue Shields each day. Inspired rather than satisfied, we set up the same arrangement with another trusted injection molding company, who similarly jumped into production in less than a week. This sort of teamwork and selfless enthusiasm has really come to define this project. When we realized we’d be in desperate need of elastic, for example, several companies answered our call on social media, including a Michigan business that provided us with custom synthetic rubber elastic straps that were easier to clean and produce in large numbers. Another local vendor helped us get a die made to cut the clear shields, enabling us to provide upwards of 20,000 Rogue Face Shields per day.
Rogue has supplied frames and straps to the medical community, along with high-clarity MELINEX®462 polyester film shields. You can learn more Rogue’s ongoing work in this area, and our current Covid-19 company policies, here.