Project Clean Access is a platform for understanding the global challenges we face in transitioning from lockdown, and developing a crowd-sourced toolkit that can address them. To find out more about the project, view current challenges, propose a challenge of your own or submit a solution please follow the relevant links below.

Project Clean Access

A crowd-sourced toolkit to safely transition society out of lockdown.

With thanks to the University of Bristol and Royal Academy of Engineering for their support

It is becoming apparent that the exit strategy and transition from lockdown to a more ‘normal’ way of life is not straightforward. It is self-evident that both behavioural and system interventions are required to facilitate the transition and eventual relaxation of social-distancing measures while ensuring that transmission is minimised and a second or third wave of the pandemic is avoided. To help with this global effort we propose that these behavioural changes can be supported by a toolkit of simple low-cost technological interventions that can facilitate society’s gradual return to normal life.

The principles of Project Clean Access are to complement the core regimes of handwashing , cleaning and PPE through the design of a low-cost easy-to-use toolkit for:

  • reducing and, where possible, eliminating unnecessary contact points/surfaces in work places, essential service and public environments;
  • helping us to meet physical distancing requirements;
  • reinforcing and embedding ‘good practice; and,
  • making the transition as positive an experience as possible for all, e.g. engaging children.

By way of example and the first addition to the toolkit, contact can be dramatically reduced through retro-fitting of environments and supply of personalised interfaces (simple keys with covers) for access and use of facilities. The inclusion of the cover means that not only is the interface non-contact but it also remains covered while not in-use.

Project Clean Access is administered by members of the DMF lab, including Ben, Chris, Harry, Ric and Mark. Feel free to contact us directly or use the project email address – we will get back to you ASAP – all feedback/suggestions welcomed.

The Clean Access Toolkit – Our First Examples

Our Clean Access Toolkit can be accessed and will be kept up-to-date on our Github ( https://github.com/dmf-lab/Project-Clean-Access).

The philosophy of the toolkit is one of simplicity, standardisation and sustainability making it relevant and achievable for all nations and all societies. Accordingly, the toolkit will, as far as possible, be based on a blend of low-cost common items that can be upcycled and adapted; a small number of standard interchangeable interfaces; and a highly flexible range of open-sourced, open-designed adaptors that can be manufactured via low-cost local means (3D printed, carved or formed) and modified to suit almost any handle, switch, tap or device. These guiding principles are illustrated for the previously mentioned case of reducing surface contact in three examples:


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 Resources

The Clean Access Toolkit is intended to be freely available and open-source. We want the toolkit to be evolved by the global community – students, engineers, teachers, clinicians, hobbyists and anyone with an interest and ability to contribute. We want you to create designs, use designs and propose challenges, and share your experiences. As coordinators of this initiative and an active research lab, we are happy to create/customise/modify designs to suit local needs. But we have limited resources and want everyone (you) to help! All we ask is that you use your best endeavours to meet the principles of the Challenge and send us a photo of your toolkit in-situ!

All designs, examples, case studies and supporting documentation are available via our GitHub ( https://github.com/dmf-lab/Project-Clean-Access) which is open access. Please upload your designs, examples and ideas under the relevant challenge areas. Please include design files and STLs where possible. Please see the challenge section of further details.

Clean Access Challenges

The Clean Access Challenges are designed to help understand and address specific challenges of a post-lockdown world and to develop design solutions that can help address them.

Over the forthcoming months we will be issuing a number of challenges to design and develop innovative additions to the Clean Access Toolkit. These will include designs optimised for 3D printing and injection molding, upcycled/repurposed designs from office supplies and household consumables, and how best to use the toolkit in the wild. Challenges will be launched via the DMF website and social media. All designs will be made available via the repositories.

How can I take part/contribute?

There are three ways you can contribute to Project Clean Access: responding to the Open Call; suggesting a challenge; and, responding to a specific Clean Access Challenge (listed below).

  1. Open Call – Submit a solution to an identified problem of your choosing. Submit to project-clean-access@bristol.ac.uk.
  2. Suggest a challenge – Identify a challenge that requires a solution. Submit to project-clean-access@bristol.ac.uk.
  3. Challenges – Responding to a specific design challenge set by us or those who have contacted us with their own. The current list of challenges is shown below. Details of how to respond will be included for each challenge. Please check these in advance.

Contributions can be Product, Processes or People focused:

  1. Products – things people could manufacture for use in homes, workplaces or on public transport.  Existing designs in this category look to minimise hand contact points in workplaces.
  2. Processes  – innovative ways of changing the way we go about normal life.  For example systems aiming to maintain social distancing in workplaces, or ensuring safe use of public transport.
  3. People – How can certain behaviours be encouraged or changed?  Eg hand washing or deterring face touching.

Designs and challenges will be periodically reviewed and published on the DMF website and other forums.  Product designs will be made available to be downloaded and manufactured/implemented as required.

What is in a submission?

To be efficient with your time and to reduce the burden of paperwork our submission guidelines are as light-weight as possible, including a short overview/description, details of use, and the all important CAD/CAM models. We encourage the use of photographs and images and just enough information to present the design, its installation and operation. Given this, contributions should be a simple email adhering to the following minimum submission guidelines:

  • Provide enough information to describe the design (purpose, typical applications, etc), ideally in the form or a short written summary.
  • Contain instruction / guidance for use, ideally in the form of photos or videos.
  • If to be digitally manufactured, CAM tractable files be provided for reproduction (eg STLs for 3D printing) and CAD tractable files (STEP or IGES) so designs can be customised or further developed if necessary.

All published designs will be made open access and shared with the global community to aid transition to normality post lockdown.  By participating in the Clean Access Challenge you consent to the terms of creative commons license CC BY 4.0.

All submissions for open challenges should be submitted to project-clean-access@bristol.ac.uk.

What are the current challenges?

All submissions should be sent to project-clean-access@bristol.ac.uk.

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.
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 […]
Clean Access Challenge 3: Hot Desking in a COVID-19 World - Several industries have been moving to a working environment involving hot desking. In a post-lockdown, COVID-19 world this poses potential issues with social distancing and transmission paths. This challenge asks how hot desking can be made possible whilst also trying to contain the transmission of COVID-19.
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 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 […]

Latest Posts

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 World Clean Access Challenge 4: Hackspaces Clean Access Challenge 5: Contact Free Cash Clean Access Challenge 6: Shared Toilets What is in a submission? To be efficient with your time and […]
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 (https://dmf-lab.co.uk/project-clean-access/): a global initiative […]

Contact Us

All enquiries, submissions and thoughts about the project are welcomed and should be sent to project-clean-access@bristol.ac.uk (or just click the button below!).

Remember, all our designs (and the published challenge submissions) are available via our github: https://github.com/dmf-lab/Project-Clean-Access