Introduction: Face Shields - TinkerCAD - Moving Parts

This is a current event related project that me and my children decided to work on as one of our homeschooling activities.

Step 1: The Assignment:

As a STEM enthusiast and parent I saw the Distance Learning with Tinkercad Contest as a great opportunity to teach my children more about computer aided design and the engineering design process. The first step in the process is to define a problem that requires solving. I chose to couple the project to current events by addressing the pressing issue that is Covid-19. On Tinkercad I taught my children how to create a simplistic face shield of common design (seen above). The task for my children was to then take this basic design and to improve it in one way or another. To enrich the activity further, I added a moving part as an additional requirement.

Step 2: Face Shield With Eating Slot

My first kid addressed the issue that it is impossible to eat while wearing a face shield, so the user would need to take off the shield in order to have a meal. To solve this issue my child added an extrusion on the shield over the mouth area. Over this hole he placed a sliding door that is worn closed but can be opened whenever the wearer wants to eat. I think this is a brilliant and effective design as a face shield improvement.

Step 3: Face Shield With UV Protection

My second child took a different take, he realized that for workers outdoors the mask could be used to block ultraviolet rays from harming their eyes. This way, a worker wouldn't need to wear a pair of UV glasses beneath their face shield. To complete this task, my child created a band of what would be UV protective material (seen in transparent green) that covers the eye section of the wearer. To add to the functionality of the improvement, my kid made it so that the band pivots on the uppermost corners of the mask, in this way the UV band can be flipped onto the head (and out of the way) when the wearer no longer needs ultraviolet protection. I was thoroughly impressed with the detail on this design, it also includes a handle to make flipping the mask up and down more sanitary thus preventing the user from dirtying the visor.

Step 4: Face Shield With Windshield Wiper

For the final design, my third child combated the problem that arises when wearing a face shield in rainy weather. This design implements a wiper with two handles that can be stroked down the length of the shield. In this way, rain can be removed from obscuring visibility while wearing this shield. Additionally my kid added a small hood on the top of the shield to provide further protection. I found this design quite clever because it solves a relevant problem in an effective way.

Step 5: Conclusion

That sums up all three of the moving designs. I will add the STL files of the creations down below. Me and my kids had a lot of fun working on this, feel free to try this activity yourself.

Below I will discuss how I created the face shield for my kids. It was a great learning experience for them watching me doing each step. Since my children were later able to do most of their face shield improvements independently, I do not have step by step instructions for their designs.

Step 6: Creating the Arms of the Face Shield

We will begin by creating an ellipse that is 150mm wide by 240mm long and 5.1mm tall. Next, we remove from the center of this ellipse to create a 4mm thick ring, which will later form the arms of the face shield.

Step 7: Removing Pieces to Form the Arms

Now, we cut from the bottom and top of the ellipse ring and leave only the material that we want for the arms of the face shield.

Step 8: Adding Rings to the Ends of the Arms

Here we add rings of the dimensions 20mm wide by 20mm long and 5.1mm tall to the ends of the face shield arms. We also cut away excess material by using semi-tubes set to remove material.

Step 9: Optimizing the Arm Rings

Next we cut away the upper parts of both rings, this will allow the arms to look like continuous sweeps rather than awkward arrangements with rings at their ends.

Step 10: Rounding the Ends of the Arm Rings

To add rounded tips (yellow) to the ends of the arms we use the semicircle Tinkercad shape. These semicircles will be 5.1mm tall and 4 mm wide at the base.

Step 11: Creating the Front Piece

We now move to the front of the face shield. Here we use similar techniques to those shown in previous steps. We create a nice curve for the forehead by cutting away from an ellipse of the dimensions 112mm wide 25mm long and 5.1mm tall.

Step 12: Connecting the Front Piece to the Arms

Next we create curves (yellow) connecting the arms and front piece of the face shield and then round their edges. To round edges like this we cut a corner out of a cube using a cylindrical cutaway shape, and then use the remaining corner to cut away material.

Step 13: Creating the Forehead Rest

To design the part of the face shield that will rest against the forehead of its wearer, we again manipulate an ellipse and leave only the desired parts.

Step 14: Connecting the Front Piece to the Forehead Rest

We now create two struts to connect the forehead rest to the whole of the design. Simple rectangular prisms do the trick.

Step 15: Adding Standoffs and Clips

For the final step of the headpiece we add four octogonal extrusions on the outside as shown. The two front ones will act as spacers between the face shield plate and the wearer’s face, the two on the side will act as hooks for the transparent plate.

Step 16: Creating the Face Plate

Now we start on the face plate itself. We create another elliptical ring and cut it into an appropriate curve. The initial faceplate ellipse is of the dimensions 300mm wide, 145mm long, and 200mm tall.

Step 17: Adding Cutouts to the Face Plate

Next, we will round the upper and lower corners of the faceplate. To do this we create tubes, selected for only one quartile of the tube, and use that remaining quarter to cut the corners. In this step we also cut appropriate holes into the sides of the mask to allow it to be secured over the clips.

Step 18: Our Finished Product

After some recoloring we have our finished product. This face shield, as mentioned before, was the starting point for my three children and their designs.

Distance Learning with Tinkercad Contest

Participated in the
Distance Learning with Tinkercad Contest