Firefighter's Microphone Shield

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Introduction: Firefighter's Microphone Shield

Before I dive into this project, let me give you some background. My dad is a firefighter and he is one of many who are the first responders to Covid-19. The fire station is basically a second home to firefighters; they live together, work together, share the same stuff, etc. However, sharing the same stuff while being a first responder to Covid is not working anymore. I asked my dad what his guys need and he said a microphone shield on their headsets. At his station, about 12 - 16 men live there, not all at once but on different shifts. That means his microphone, on the firetruck, needs to be shared with other guys. They don't have individual headsets or foam bits for the microphone. Thus, I designed a microphone protector so each firefighter can have their own microphone shield without sharing, especially during these times.

I am entering 11th grade in high school this upcoming fall.

Supplies

  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Ruler
  • 3D Printer
  • Any printable filament
  • CAD software
  • Positive Attitude

Step 1: Drawing Board

I was given some photos to come up with a drawing because the actual microphone foam bit had to remain at the fire station. He added a ruler in the photos in order for me to come up with the dimensions. After looking over the photos, I made some sketches.

When making these sketches, it is important to know the exact dimensions of the microphone foam bit. The microphone shield will be using friction to remain on the foam bit. When making the shield for the foam, the 3D printed part needs to give a little space so it can easily slide on and off the foam. However, not too much space or the 3D printed part will just fall off. I recommend at most 2 mm of space between the shield and the foam bit.

Step 2: Foam Bit

The foam bit is1 7/16" by 1". 1 7/16" in length and 1" in width. Since the foam bit is close to a circle, the width and height are the same. After looking at the dimensions, I started making the designs one by one. I printed each deigns to compare one another and see which one looked nice, representable, functional and simple.

Step 3: Alternate Designs/ Sketches

The first design looked like a barrel. I really have no idea what I was aiming for. It looks different and unique but definitely not the final design. Then, the second design was just a hollow cylinder with a solid side at one end. So basically, it was a cup. The final design was a small mixture of the first and second. The final design looks nicer, requires a little effort, and less filament. It is simple to make and print.

Step 4: The Final Design

Step 1: Start out with a cylinder and make the outer diameter of 22 millimeters.

Step 2: Add another cylinder and make the outer diameter 19 millimeters. Then, subtract the second cylinder from the first one in order to get a hollow cylinder or a ring.

The first two steps can be replaced with a ring shape.

Step 3: Make the height of the ring at 35 millimeters.

Step 4: Create a dome with the same outer diameter, 22 mm. Them, make the height 11 mm.

Step 5: Align the dome and the top of the ring together. Then, merge them so there is one part.

Step 6: Add holes on one full side of the ring (180 of the 360). The holes are 4 mm in diameter. They are evenly separated; almost 2-3 mm apart.

These dimensions can be changed to your personal liking. It doesn't have to be exactly like this.

Step 5: Helpful Tips

  • When using a ring or a dome, make sure it has more than 90 sides in order to get a smoother finish when printing.
  • Print the shield right side up; it doesn't need supports.
  • Remember to make the shield a little loose, not exact to the dimensions; at most 2 mm difference.
  • Use a raft when printing because these shields are small and will slide off if not held in place.
  • Print them in groups; it will save more time.

Step 6: Five Star Ratings

The guys at the fire station really enjoyed my microphone shield. They were happy to have their own microphone protector instead of sharing the foam bit with the other guys at the station. On the plus side, they can hand wash and easily transport it anywhere. Some guys at the station use a carabiner to connect the shield to their keys, bags, etc.

(The firefighter in the photos is my dad's friend - co-worker)

Step 7: Wrapping Up

At the end of this project, I was happy to contribute my work to the local firefighters. Every day, they risk their safety to serve the people and protect the community. I'm just happy that I got to help them out and solve one more problem they don't have to deal with anymore. Also, to all firefighters out there, thank you. You have protected my community, my home, my friends, and my family. I understand that Covid-19 and the California fires have been putting a serious amount of stress on you guys. Please stay safe out there. Thank you.

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