Covid Intubation Box

This is the third project created as part of a collaboration with Toronto hospitals and TTL Makers to assist health-care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you haven’t seen them yet, checkout the previous iterations of the shield visor.

The intubation box is a shield used specifically to protect both the patient and health-care worker during a critical procedure to improve respiration for the sick person.

Engaging the CNC

Technically both the 3D printers and Laser Cutter are CNC machines, but for this ask we needed to call into play the TTLMakerspace’s full-sized mill.

Our mill is an Omni, and has been an absolute workhorse. Thankfully before this project came up (actually just before COVID-19 came up) we had replaced worn bearings and belts so the machine is operating at peak efficiency.

For cutting acrylic, a single-flute downward-cut milling tool is generally a good choice. In this case it produced cuts so precise and sharp, the edges needed to be manually rounded off. The Omni does it again!

Open-source Design

While we can build just about anything, we did not have an expert on the design of intubation boxes, and needed a prototype quickly.

Thankfully, one of our members Patrick chimed in via Facebook message and provided a link to an open-source design with very good specifications.

We were actually able to produce a prototype within hours following the instructions at the link provided by Patrick.

Another win!

Next Steps

The intubation box is a prototype, a visual reference that can be presented, held, and considered in-situ. Once presented it needs to go into consideration and compliance with qualified members of the hospital administration and staff.

But there is plenty that can be done to get prepared should the device be needed. Sourcing material, preparing for transportation, estimating production times - and all of this under the extra protocols you can read about in our initial project, the face shield version 1.


It would be nice to think that with each project the process of designing for the need during this pandemic gets easier - but it doesn’t. The process is stringent every time because these projects are going into an environment where they may just save lives.

It’s a mixture of mobilizing quickly, and then pausing for proper review with the people who know the environment best. But in all cases, nothing beats having an actual physical model for assisting the review process.

The intubation box is a great example of filling the need for rapid iteration.

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