DMF Lab Experience

Our skills like in rapid manufacture and effective/efficient low-end production using rapid manufacture systems. We do not have manufacturing capability to substantially support production efforts of any device, experience of design of medical devices or clinical knowledge, or testing facilities to confirm our designs functionality.

The DMF group is therefore concentrating on:

  • Refinement of existing designs for rapid manufacture, etc.
  • Acting as a conduit between projects and companies to increase opportunity for production at industry scale.
  • Offering our skills on a request basis

We see our primary design-based value resting in refinement of existing designs for manufacture and assembly efficiency, maximisation of standard parts, part count reduction, flat-packing and distribution etc.

Many designs, particularly open-source and low-end, make heavy use of 3D printing technologies, which are slow, inaccurate, and produce bulky parts. We have spent time demonstrating refinement of existing open-source designs to reduce manufacture time and simplify.

If you feel your project could benefit from our help, please contact us using our individual email addresses (on our people pages) or

Current Work

New Clean Access Challenges Open! - Today we have opened four new clean access challenges that are open for submissions now: Clean Access Challenge 3: Hot Desking in a COVID-19 WorldClean Access Challenge 4: HackspacesClean Access Challenge 5: Contact Free CashClean Access Challenge 6: Shared Toilets What is in a submission? To be efficient with your time and to reduce the […]
Clean Access Challenge 5: Contact Free Cash - Problem Money, in the form of both notes and coins, provides contact surfaces that can be shared by many people in a short space of time. Whilst transmission via cash hasn’t been delineated, some banks around the world are taking steps to disinfect cash to ensure that it’s coronavirus free (see here). In order to […]
Clean Access Challenge 6: Shared Toilets - Problem As our schools, universities, offices and workplaces are adapted to life with coronavirus, facilities such as bathrooms will also need to be amended in two main ways. First, to ensure social distancing protocols are adhered to, and second, to reduce the risk of virus transmission via numerous shared contact surfaces. These need to be […]
Project Clean Access Launches - Project Clean Access has offcially launched on the DMF website. Please head over to the Project Clean Access page on our site for more information, and see the launch e-mail below. Dear All, The Design and Manufacturing Futures Lab at the University of Bristol is proud to launch Project Clean Access ( a global initiative […]
Clean Access Challenge 4: Hackspaces - Problem The Hackspace, once exclusively synonymous with electronics and model airplane enthusiasts, has grown to become a globally acknowledged hub for social innovation and enterprise. Appealing to an emergent cultural ethos of autonomy and shared knowledge, pop-up hackspaces have taken shape over the past decade in everything from railway arches to city office blocks, boasting […]
Clean Access Challenge 2: Rural Gates and Stiles - Problem A well-known piece of countryside etiquette is to take nothing but photos and leave nothing but footprints.  With the coronavirus outbreak this becomes truer than ever – nobody wants to take the virus home with them from a walk, nor leave it behind. A post lockdown world will involve a substantial change in our […]
The T-Pen - The T-Pen design features a dongle with a "T" shaped head that allows the user to apply force in 3 axes to an adapter. The concept is for each person to have a T-Pen that is capable of working in adapters placed around a workplace, home, shop etc.. This would allow people to open doors and operate mechanisms without touching a surface someone else may have come into contact with - breaking the COVID-19 transmission path. A lid is also provided to allow the pen to be covered when not in use.
The USB-Pen Interface - Building on the USB interface, the design can be extended to also allow a pen (standard biro) or pencil to be used. This extends the "upcycle" mantra associated with the USB design, but comes with the penalty of not having any depth control due to the uncertainty surrounding the pen used. The design can be 3D printed in under 10 minutes and cost less than 2p each.
The Upcycled USB - A simple adapter has been developed, that can be rapdily printed using FFF and SLA technologies, to allow someone to use a USB stick to open doors and operate simple mechaisms and break transmission paths of COVID-19. The simple design, that takes less than 15 minutes to print on our standard 3D printers costs just £0.04 and can take advantage of the old USB sticks people have at home and in the workplace. If the USBs available also have a retracting head, or a cover for the interface, the contact patch can be sealed from the user when not in use.
Clean Access Challenge 1: A Toolkit for Queen’s Building - University buildings (like many other buildings throughout our cities) have many hundreds of users every day, all needing to move through and access a variety of different spaces, each with their own locks and access controls. In a world of social distancing, we need to think about how people move through buildings and access spaces efficiently, while preventing bottlenecks, minimising transmission risks, and still allowing important security and access controls to stay in place.

Other COVID19 Projects and Information

Please see the list below for projects you and your company may be able to help with. We will endeavour to keep this list as up to date as possible over the coming weeks and months.

1.    MHRA Spec

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, a subsidiary of the UK government, has produced a document detailing the minimum requirements of a ventilator to be used in NHS hospitals during the current pandemic. This document can be found through the link below and via the blog post here. We have also distilled this document into a PDS style requirements document. This should be considered a live document and will be updated regularly.

The most difficult part of the specification for us are the levels of control and sensing required. These elements would require hardware testing and refinement that are not currently possible given our working arrangements. These elements would require input from electronic engineers and specialists with experience in medical devices.

2.    Royal Society Rapid Review

This is an effort being led by the Royal Society to have a rapid review schedule for papers submitted on work around COVID-19 where work will be reviewed within 24-48 hours post-submission. More information for reviews and authors can be found through the link.

3.    Oxvent

This is a project being run between the University of Oxford and King’s College London. It is a multidisciplinary team of medics and engineers aiming to produce a ventilator to fill the shortfall health care systems across the world are anticipating and experiencing.

4.    Prusa Medical Shields

The open-source 3D printing company, Prusa, has started to use its 3D printer farm to print open source components for face shields. It is currently producing 800/day using 1/5th of its printing capability. The safety of the mask is currently being verified. Several suggestions are provided on Prusa’s website on how to print the parts along with handling.

5.    Ultimaker Support

Ultimaker are offering their support, with regards to design and printing, via their website. This is being done globally and locally. You are also able to offer your support through the Ultimaker website.

6.    OpenSource COVID19 Medical Supplies Group

A Facebook group has come into existence where people around the world are sharing their designs and makes for technology related to the pandemic. This can be found through the link below.

7.    List of Working Groups

The University of Cambridge Information Management group has created a list of working groups. This can be found here:

These groups cover design, manufacture, testing and research review.

8.    Welsh Rapid Ventilator

The Welsh government has given the green light, and successfully tested, a new, rapidly designed ventilator. Although this does not meet the specification required for use in ICU wards it is considered an important contribution to reduce the demand on ICU beds. More information on this can be seen here.

9.    UK Companies

Several large UK engineering organisations are also developing designs. Two of the most advanced are G-Tech, who are nearing production ready and have been asked to manufacture 30,000, and Dyson who have had an order of 10,000 placed by the UK government.

Several other engineering companies are dedicating resource to this effort on both design and manufacture, inc. Airbus (production), Dyson (design), several F1 teams (production), and several smaller manufacturers.

10. Hackaday: Ventilators 101

Hackaday have written an article on how people breath, how ventilators help and how they are used. It’s a very interesting read and highly recommended for any group looking to design and build a ventilator for the current pandemic. Thanks to Field Ready for sending the link to us.

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