Madeleine Fiello April 23, 2020

Many companies throughout the world have found themselves requiring employees to stay at home, but it appears that returning to the office may be in our not-so-distant future. At Materialise, we have made it our priority to create and collaborate on solutions that help businesses promote healthy practices during the COVID-19 crisis. As the world’s recovery comes within sight, restrictions will begin to lift and companies can return to their workplaces. But that doesn’t mean we can cease safety measures. Welcome your team back with a solid plan to avoid the further spread of germs. In this post, the first of our blog series regarding the usefulness of 3D printing as businesses return to the office, we’re sharing our plan of action.

Introducing various 3D-printed solutions has been a major contributing factor in maintaining our healthy work environment. Our Design and Engineering team immediately recognized the potential of 3D printing at the start of the pandemic, and have since been working diligently to bring a portfolio of designs that promote safe practices to the world. Consider bringing these four tools into your company to provide employees with clear ways to protect themselves.


Hands-free door openers

Include a sticker on each door containing a hands-free door opener to give employees clear instructions.


Public door handles can carry many germs, which is why they were one of the first issues we found solutions for as the coronavirus crisis reached a global scale. Opening doors with covered arms instead of bare hands was an easy way that our risk prevention advisors found we could avoid further spreading the virus.

We implemented this design within our facilities and shared it with the world right away to bring the minimization of contact with door handles to many others. We suggest installing hands-free door openers on all of your business’ doors that can’t stay propped open. Installation is quick and easy, and the opener is simple to disinfect regularly.

With options ranging from small to large and narrow to wide to fit many door variations, people all over the world are experiencing the benefit of minimized contact while opening doors. We’ve accommodated over 80,000 file downloads and more than 6,000 printed openers through our website, and that’s just the beginning. Browse our available models, customize models to suit your doors’ measurements, or download our free design files to join many others in implementing this change into your business.


Face mask clips

Turn just about any type of fabric into a face mask for non-medical use.


A common solution many have used to avoid spreading the virus is wearing face masks. Experts suggest that as restrictions are lifted, the use of face masks by those showing symptoms can protect those around them. In some areas, the use of face masks in public is even required. However, various regions have had a shortage of medical-grade face masks, so for individuals looking to use them for personal reasons, it’s best to make face masks themselves.

As people return to the workplace, employees who are experiencing slight symptoms, such as a cough or runny nose, can minimize the spread of germs to co-workers with a mask they’ve assembled themselves. With 3D-printed face mask clips designed by our partner EDAG Group, you and your employees can create face masks with just about any fabric. The clips are reusable, so the fabric can be changed easily and regularly.

See the design here and find a list of suitable fabrics and the building instructions on EDAG Group’s website.


Face shields

Face shields protect individuals who aren’t exhibiting symptoms.


As many of us return to work, there are departments within companies, including reception and shipping, where employees will have to come into close contact with colleagues and external people. This is where a face shield, such as the one we created with 3D printer manufacturer Prusa, is of value.

While face masks are worn to protect others, a face shield is worn to protect yourself. Encouraging employees to wear face shields adds a layer of protection from others and can also discourage them from introducing germs into their bodies via touching their faces with bare hands.

Discover the design, including a 3D-printed visor band, an adjustable elastic strap, and ten disposable 200-micron-thick plastic sheets. For details on assembling the shield, refer to Prusa’s website.


Hooked badge holders

Avoid contact with shared objects by using a hooked badge holder.


In cases where person-to-person contact can be avoided, it’s still likely that contact with communal items is unavoidable. We can encourage our teams to safely complete small tasks, such as opening drawers or preparing coffee, without the fear of picking up germs. At Materialise, we’ve upgraded our badge holders to include a multi-purpose hooked corner.

Chances are, your business already requires personnel to carries badges or IDs. By doubling a badge holder’s functionality, employees can confidently navigate their work environment without direct contact.

Take a look at our hooked badge holders or explore customizations options to include your logo or change the patterns.


See our guidelines in action

At Materialise, we’ve offered tools and enforced strict measures within our facilities to ensure the continued health of our staff. From working at home when possible to regularly disinfecting spaces, our internal policies are available to provide you with ideas on how to protect employees and ensure safe interactions in the workplace.

Find inspiration to protect your workforce by reading our guidelines and watching our Prevention Advisor Stephanie Theys demonstrate them and the aforementioned designs in the video below. Returning to work may be difficult for many, so do your part to ease employees’ concerns by implementing clear policies that will make them feel as comfortable as possible.

Introduce safety tools to reduce the spread of germs in your workplace. Browse all of our 3D-printed designs on the i.materialise webshop.

Contact us for orders of larger volumes and special requests.

Get in touch

We are working on several fronts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic,
from developing certified medical devices to help patients, to protective devices
for healthcare workers, to making remote working and learning easier.

Check out all initiatives that Materialise has in response to COVID 19

We are working on several fronts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, from developing certified medical devices to help patients, to protective devices for healthcare workers, to making remote working and learning easier.

Check out all initiatives that Materialise has in response to COVID 19