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Ford, 3M, GE, UAW, Combine To MacGyver Coronavirus Respirator

Keeping Americans safe, making Americans proud. That’s what this MacGyvered Ford Motor, 3M, GE Healthcare, UAW; powered air-purifying respirator is. Ford Media has sent out info on what’s going on behind the scenes to fulfill the urgent need for respirators and purification masks for health workers. These sketches are what the team came up with. A home battery charger for power tools and a Ford F-150 seat blower are just some of the parts. Some plastic hoses used for vacuums or pool supply sources and 3-D printed parts make up the rest. No matter what race, political affiliation, or religious preference or none at all, everyone came together to make this happen. How cool is that?

This MacGyver respirator only happened this week

The quick engineering for the PAPRs has happened only this week. This is a powered air-purifying respirator that draws outside air that might be virus contaminated. It goes through a filtration system before being introduced to breathe. 

Of course, this is much different than masks that rely on your lungs to draw air in through a thin filter matrix. Instead, these require a full-head mask that is sealed around the head. Filtered air is forced into the mask giving an abundance of breathable air.

The respirator uses a seat cooling fan from a Ford F-150

Ford, 3M, GE, UAW, PAPRs respirator coronavirus | Ford-4
Ford, 3M, GE, UAW, PAPRs respirator coronavirus | Ford

The consortium found that a seat cooling squirrel cage blower fan from an F-150 pickup seat did the trick. It has enough force to draw air through the filters, push through the hoses, and force the air into the hood. Being a 12-volt motor any power tool battery recharger could power the blower. 

Ford, 3M, GE, UAW, PAPRs respirator coronavirus | Ford-4
Ford, 3M, GE, UAW, PAPRs respirator coronavirus | Ford

From those off-the-shelf parts, most of the rest of it is made up of 3D printed custom parts. The ducts, other components, and hoses are packaged into a 3D printed container that is able to be attached with a strap to the person using it. A typical Tyvek suit hood is altered for the hoses to be attached or assembled from Tyvek and a polycarbonate see-thru window.

These drawings are from just a few days ago

Ford, 3M, GE, UAW, PAPRs respirator coronavirus | Ford-4
Ford, 3M, GE, UAW, PAPRs respirator coronavirus | Ford

The dated drawings are from 3-20-20; just a few days ago. That’s quick work. We don’t know when assembly will begin but we’ll be on the lookout for these Ford, 3M, GE, UAW, MacGyvered PAPRs hopefully on TV news rather than in person. 

Ford, 3M, GE, UAW, PAPRs respirator coronavirus | Ford-4
Ford, 3M, GE, UAW, PAPRs respirator coronavirus | Ford

This is the American ingenuity we always hear about that happened during WWII or the Apollo missions. People working together to solve a problem that can benefit others rather than themselves. Today we should all be proud we’re Americans, and should also feel that the coronavirus can be beaten by hunkering down and doing what we can or are asked to do.