It's not surprising that design awards presented in 2021 reflected the need for new products during COVID-19 pandemic, and one of the first collaborative projects took home a gold award.
The Badger Shield is an open-source design for face shields developed within days by a consortium of companies based in Wisconsin. The University of Wisconsin's Makerspace worked with designers from Madison-based Delve and Midwest Prototyping LLC of Blue Mounds, Wis., on a shield that could be produced easily using an open-source, downloadable 3D printed part and clear plastic.
Thermoformer Placon Corp., Portage Plastics and other companies from the packaging industry jumped in to supply materials, mold and assemble shields.
"Health care systems requested 5.5 million units within weeks of launch," IDSA judges said. "An online portal matched requests with manufacturers, and the world went to work. Production lines in 22 countries, representing 400 manufacturers, from giants like Apple to local outfits like Midwest Prototyping, combined to make 2 million per day."
In addition, awards also went to two ventilator projects: the Valence InVent Xtend system that could connect as many as four patients to one ventilator when needed and the WorldVent ventilator created as a low-cost, emergency-response ventilator.