Ideas | April 16th 2020

Supporting our Healthcare Heroes: How Design Can Help

Over the course of the last month, CBT Model Shop Director Aaron Williams has relocated our model shop and 3D printers to his own home to print masks and materials for local hospitals and healthcare workers fighting COVID-19. As we confront this pandemic as a global community, we are continually inspired by Aaron’s work and the similar efforts of our peers in the design, maker, and innovator communities, applying design skill sets to support those on the front lines in protecting our communities. 

But the story doesn't stop there. Our collective resilience in this crisis is sustained by collaboration, communication, and a willingness to take action. We encourage you to ask your local hospitals, grocers, police officers, first responders, and other essential services what you can do to help.

If you are interested in supporting our essential workers but are unsure of where to start, Aaron has compiled a brief list of design resources – from 3D print projects to DIY cloth masks – to offer some inspiration and reference in your own projects. Please refer to the links below:

NanoHack 2.0, Copper3D’s 3D printed reusable mask – the inspiration for the masks Aaron is currently printing for local hospitals.
Information on Sterilizing 3D prints from
Budmen’s 3D Printed Face Shield, used by many NYC hospitals
Sew Your Own Face Mask
3D Printed Ear Savers, a mask attachment designed to make the mask more comfortable  

To learn more about these efforts, and Aaron’s work specifically, check out his conversations with, WBUR, and Urban Land Magazine, featured in the following articles:

"I build 3D models at an architecture firm. Now I'm making medical masks." (
WBUR Morning Edition Broadcast (minute 93)
"Confronting COVID-19: ULI Members Give Back to Communities" (Urban Land Magazine)

We are honored to work with colleagues so dedicated to the wellbeing of our communities, and encouraged by the work of our fellow designers and innovators in supporting the heroes of the healthcare profession and all essential services.