Operation PPE

Research, Design, Prototyping, Fabrication
Protective Equipment
MGB Center for COVID Innovation, Harvard University Graduate School of Design & Weiss Institute, Cornell AAP, Sabin Lab

Our friends at Cornell AAP and Sabin Lab are collaborating with Cornell Engineering, Cornell CIS and many others across the community to 3D print and laser cut visors and protective face shields for our doctors, nurses, and healthcare professionals on the front lines at Weill Cornell Medical. Find more info here: https://www.sabinlab.com/operation-ppe

There's an immediate need for PPE, and HYA has been actively working with a great group of collaborators (experts on medical procedures, patient comfort, materials, fabrication, etc) to get this equipment into the hands of healthcare providers who need it.

We first turned our attention to producing face-shields using Sabin Labs' design. The process is simple enough that we can fabricate it ourselves using only office tools. Even for those, we receive feedback and adapt the design for comfort and functionality.

The second piece of PPE we've prototyped is the 'patient isolation hood.' We've been working with a local team of doctors and fabricators to make a guard that protects doctors from contamination during intubation of infected patients. Our team has been able to prototype, get feedback, and iterate rapidly through full-scale, usable devices with the help of our fabricators and medical experts.

We initially set out on multiple tracks of prototyping and honed them into into two versions, a flexible "cantilever" that is quickly adaptable in the operating room, and a more comfortable rigid module for extended use in the ICU.


We can quickly model, and share, and comment on ideas in digital space using a slack channel. For instance, the group was able to quickly provide feedback on this cantilever PIH design for range of movement, access for treatment, and mode of attachment to the bed.

See the Architectural Record article about the Patient Isolation Hood developed as part of the Center for Covid Innovation, a collaboration between U.S. Architects and Engineers and Boston's Mass General Hospital and Brigham and Women's Hospital.

One of the current iterations can be cut entirely from a flat sheet and folded like origami to form an effective intubation hood.