Welcome back to the Epilog studio! In this episode we’ll be focusing on personal protection equipment with the creation of a quick-to-cut and assemble acrylic face shield designed to support those on the front lines during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As an alternative to PETG plastic, we’ll be using thin flexible clear acrylic, and we've included various vendors below.
Special shout out and thank you to Jason Reizner with the Bauhaus Form + Function Lab at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, located in Germany, for their creative commons Bauhaus Uni Visor design file. The file includes a two-part headband accommodated for smaller lasers with a 24" x 12" (610 x 305 mm) work-area and assembly instructions.
- Acrylic Sheet - At least 24" x 12", 0.020" or .030" thick, (60 cm x 30 cm x 0.5 mm)
IPI Crystal Gloss Clear, Rowmark General Purpose Acrylic or JDS Acrylic
- Epilog Fusion Pro Laser machine
We used an 80-watt Fusion Pro 32:
Vector // Speed 20% // Power 100% // Frequency 100%
For this project we’ll be utilizing our Fusion Pro laser machine with IRIS camera registration technology. At the laser, we’re going to begin by placing the 24” x 12” (60 cm x 30 cm) Crystal Gloss Acrylic sheet into the laser machine.
Then using the auto-focus feature, we’ll bring the material into focus for cutting.
File Info & Preparation Before Printing
We have this project file available for you in multiple formats (CDR, AI, PDF, and EPS), so be sure to check out the download folder to find the one(s) that you prefer.
With the cut file now open in our design software, you’ll notice there are two variants of the face shield headband. Variant A requires a larger laser and larger sheet of acrylic, whereas variant B has been reconfigured to accommodate smaller lasers and a common sized sheet of 24" x 12" acrylic (60 cm x 30 cm).
Before we print this job to the laser, we are going to select the parts we need and place them into a new file setup for a 24" x 12" (60 cm x 30 cm) sheet of plastic. Then, we'll convert all of our cut lines to a single color, in this case black.
Printing Process & Laser Parameters
With our parts now pasted into our new file and all the lines now converted to one color, we’re going to print our cut lines to the laser and apply the necessary settings to cut out the face shield parts.
Within the Epilog Software Suite, we’ll set the Process Type to Vector, Speed to 20%, Power to 100%, and Frequency of 100%, then print the file to the laser for cutting. Depending on the configuration and wattage of your Epilog Laser system and thickness and type of material you use, we suggest running a few test cuts to dial in the settings for your specific laser machine.
At the Laser Cutter
Now at the laser system, we’ll select our laser job from the touch screen control panel, and then press the Go button to begin cutting out our parts.
The laser machine will make quick work of cutting the two-piece headband and main face shield parts from the thin, clear acrylic.
Bauhaus Mask Preparation & Assembly
Once the acrylic face shield parts are finished cutting, we’ll remove them from the laser bed, and begin removing the masking material from both sides of the three-parts that make up the face shield.
With the masking material removed, we’ll begin assembling our mask, using the assembly guide provided by Bauhaus.
For the two-part headband section, begin by combining the two headband pieces together and locking them in with the locking tab.
Once we have the headband pieces connected, we’ll insert the headband through the face shield holes and utilize the Bauhaus instructions from this point forward to complete assembling the face shield.
You may need to test fit the headband and make adjustments for the user, but once fitted properly, the headband should sit comfortably, as shown here.
And there you have it! A PPE face shield quickly created with an inexpensive sheet of thin acrylic and an Epilog Laser machine. Thanks for watching, and please stay safe and healthy