Design Trends

How Covid-19 is fueling creativity in CAD design

How Covid-19 is fueling creativity in CAD design

Unless you've been living under a rock, you'll probably have noticed things are a little different at the moment. There is no arguing that Covid-19 is making us rethink our everyday activities.

But it's not all doom and gloom! Confined to their quarters, CAD modelers, architects and even total amateurs have taken up the design gauntlet, producing some really ingenious design solutions. From the practical to the whimsical.  Many of these projects are being created free to download, open-source, models, which means that anyone can use or modify them.

Here are a few of our favorite designs:

Handfree handles

Opening the door is something we haven't, in the past, given much thought to. But 100s and even 1000s of people use the same handles every day! For this reason, many people have endeavored to design a new method for opening doors without using your hands.

How Covid-19 is fueling creativity in CAD design- doorhandel-1024x576

Adapted from a Thingiverse model by nohkumado

Largely these designs fit into 2 categories:

  • Retrofit devices, that adapt traditional handles and allow them to be opened using your elbow or forearm.
  • Foot grips, that allow you to pull the door with your feet.

How Covid-19 is fueling creativity in CAD design- toe hook-1024x578

Adapted from a Thingiverse model by shinwachi

Some great, free-to-download models include:

Handsfree faucets

There are lots of also people busily designing 3D printable adapters for traditional style faucets (taps) that allow you to turn faucets on and off using your elbow or forearm.

How Covid-19 is fueling creativity in CAD design- tap-1024x577

Adapted from a GrabCAD model by Mark Ravilious.

No-touch devices

It's not just door knobs that we come into contact with every day, from elevator buttons to touchscreens, every time we leave the house, we touch objects, potentially spreading viruses and bacteria.

One of the newest design concepts to emerge in the last few months are "no-touch devices". These ingenious gadgets aim to give peace of mind to anyone concerned about spreading viruses, without the need to wear gloves.

How Covid-19 is fueling creativity in CAD design- no-touch-device-1024x576

Adapted from a Thingiverse model by derPotz26.

Designs vary greatly, but generally feature a hook, for things like door handles and draws, and some kind of poking device for touch screens and buttons. Typically they fit on the end of a key ring.

For added protection, they can be produced in some kind naturally, antibacterial material, such as brass or they can include space for antibacterial liquids.

These designs are in their infancy at the moment and currently have no scientific backing. However, as many of the models are open-source, there is huge potential for users to collaborate on this concept over time. Who knows, maybe in the future, we'll all carry one of these on our keyring?

Here are a few more examples, available to download free:

Decontamination tunnels

In many areas of the world, decontamination tunnels are being set up, to ensure the safety of members of the public when entering areas, such as large, outdoor markets or public transport stations.

How Covid-19 is fueling creativity in CAD design- spray-1024x577

Adapted from a GrabCAD model by Min Soe.

The basic principle of the design is a tent-like tunnel structure with a set of hoses. As people walk through the tunnel they are sprayed with a light, chemical mist. This provides protection from the virus to both the individual and others in the surrounding area, for a short period of time.

Careful consideration must be given to the types of chemicals used to avoid irritation, allergic reactions or accidental poisoning. It's also important to not soak people, as this could cause other problems.

The Whimsical

In all the tensions and uncertainty. It's important to remember to enjoy yourself as well. Some Covid-19 inspired designs are also emerging to help us remember to see the brighter side.

This Covid-19 inspired 3D printable dice set makes clever use of the unusual coronavirus shape.

How Covid-19 is fueling creativity in CAD design- dice-1024x576

Imported from a Thingiverse model by Juancroldan.

How Covid-19 is fueling creativity in CAD design- covid cartoon-1024x577

Adapted from a GrabCAD model by Saadullah Kabbani.

This 3D printable Coronavirus is actually rather cute and would make an excellent desk ornament.

Or why not while your time in isolation away with this Covid-19 inspired, fidget spinner design?

How Covid-19 is fueling creativity in CAD design- spinner-1024x579

Adapted from a GrabCAD design created by Michael.

Other entertaining -- although not scientifically tested -- designs include a Darth Vader style mask and a Minions face shield. Both design concepts would be great for children and help to take the fear away from the somewhat sinister-looking, medical masks currently available.

The outrageous

Then there are the frankly, outrageous designs.

How Covid-19 is fueling creativity in CAD design- ring-1024x578

Adapted from a GrabCAD file created by Dewald.

A few people have taken to wearing large, home constructed "social distancing rings", like the husband and wife who created a social distancing ring from old tent pegs. For many, this is simply a way to raise public awareness on social distancing advice.

Companies stepping it up

It's not just individuals that are taking the lead. Amongst many others, both Lego and D'Addario (parent company of Evans Drumheads) are repurposing their manufacturing equipment to produce face shields.

How Covid-19 is fueling creativity in CAD design- face shield technical drawing-1024x578

Adapted from a GrabCAD design created by Alvaro Ugarte.

There are also a huge number of open-source face shield models available online and a huge number of individuals 3D printing face shields and other essential medical supplies, from their own homes.

How about you?

Has COVID-19 inspired you to design something in CAD? Have you been putting your 3D printer to good use?

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Disclaimer: Bricsys makes no claims that any of these designs will offer any protection to your or your family against viruses or other diseases and infections. It provides these links and images for entertainment purposes. Please see your local authority for recommendations on how you can protect yourself and your loved ones at this time.

These links are being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by Bricsys of any of the products, services or opinions of the corporation or organization or individual. Bricsys bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality or content of the external site or for that of subsequent links. Contact the external site for answers to questions regarding its content.

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