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Covid-19 UK | Caveat Emptor: Opensource engineering resources only


Covid-19 UK


  • Why are so many ventilators needed?
  • A mildly affected person can recover in 5 days without any medical assistance. A seriously ill person needs ventilator for 6 weeks
  • A ventilator forces air in and out of lungs.
  • There are lots of settings and technology needed to measure and adjust air flow, pressure, breathing rate, the amount of air sent to lungs and oxygen ratio.
  • Ventilators need certification of hardware, sensors and software before they can be used by a doctor. This step best left to an integrator.
  • Open source can help in parallel manufacture and design of components, electronics, and software for scaling up production.
  • If the situation becomes extremely bad, you can make and use your own reduced functionality ventilator if you know what you are doing and accept / manage all risks. With today's off the shelf 3D printers, electronics and sensors, such machines could easily be more advanced than what was available 20 years ago.


        Lord Bethell - Minister of Innovation at the Department of Health and Social Care:

        I know people are extremely keen to help. 

        So we’ve set up dedicated hotlines for people to send in their ideas. 

        #Vaccines : Nervtag@phe.gov.uk
        #Ventilators: 0300 456 3565 / ventilator.support@beis.gov.uk
        #Innovation / #tech : DNHSX@nhsx.nhs.uk


  • We offer to do our bit to help during Covid-19 emergency:
    1. Convert parts sent to us into FreeCAD open source parametric designs that can be passed around to make nylon powder 3D printed parts and dxf files for laser cutting.
    2. Convert electronic diagrams sent to us into open source KiCAD drawings and resources permitting create laid out PCB that can be passed around to scale up electronics production.
    3. Convert C/C++ embedded code into state machine code and Arduino compatible library code that is easy to modify to add new features by a greater number of people.
  • The 3 offer of services applies to any parts from any relevant machine. Whether it is ventilator, vaccine research robot automation that require duplication, or some new equipment that needs urgent modifications.
  • We have 1gbit Internet link and 'unlimited' storage for anyone to download the files once finished.
  • No problems if duplicating effort to speed up work and reduce uncertainties.
  • This help is voluntary and no fees for any service.

UK Ventilator Specifications

  • Specifications: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/874279/RMVS001_Rapidly_Manufactured_Ventilator_Specification__PDF.pdf
  • Key points:
    • At least 1 mode of operation
      • Mandatory ventilation mode
      • Optional 2nd mode - pressure controlled or volume of air control
    • Volume control of air
    • 240V mains operation
    • 20 minute battery back up operating at 12V, hot swappable batteries, ideally capable of using a common mix of battery types to minimize run on battery suppliers, uninterrupted operation while cables being unplugged and re-arranged.
    • Avoid EM or RF interference with other equipment
    • Alarms for various conditions
    • 14 day continuous operation minimum requirement
    • Intuitive to use, 30 minute training
    • Adapters to fit to NHS wall mounted gas supply sockets
    • Easy to dismantle and clean all contaminated parts

Open Sourced Files

Segmented hose design - make custom hoses from 3D printed soft materials for testing, or use it to design molds for tooling up and mass production
Parametric design - control dimensions of design from spreadsheet values


Parametric design - control dimensions of design from spreadsheet values. Parametric spreadsheet method avoids having to learn 3D parts design.


Parametric design - control dimensions of design from spreadsheet values. Parametric spreadsheet method avoids having to learn 3D parts design.


Parametric design - control dimensions of design from spreadsheet values. Parametric spreadsheet method avoids having to learn 3D parts design.


  • A thin heating wire such as nichrome wire is mounted between the two cone supports into the middle of the air flow.
  • The wire is retained with fire cement which is packed to fill the cone; which on setting resists heat and is non-conductive.
  • To minimize the possibility of hot wire touching plastic, the mounting hole diameter of the cone support is increased to allow a ceramic ferrule to be inserted, through which the wire is threaded. The ceramic ferrule and wire is retained by applying fire cement to fill the cone until it sets.
  • The wire is heated to about 50 degrees. The temperature of air flow before entering the sense chamber is taken.
  • The hot wire is cooled by the airflow. The amount of cooling depending on temperature difference and airflow. Airflow can be measured as a change in resistance of the wire.
  • By careful calibration, a solid state hot wire sensor can measure airflow without using any moving parts.
  • Example of how it works - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rCzw6ottMe4
  • Parametric design - control dimensions of design from spreadsheet values. Parametric spreadsheet method avoids having to learn 3D parts design.


Progress and Deficiencies

  • Hose, sleeve adapter, hose splitter, air filter, solid state hot wire air flow sensor parts 3D print OK.
  • Notice a few designs released on Internet - STL files - time consuming if it needs modifications as they are not original design files.
  • No open source software for ventilator control found yet - still in stone age. Here is a list of features required:
    • What we probably need is two hoses per mask for ventilation control using 3 air pressure sensors.
    • Pressure sensor of atmospheric air
    • Incoming air timed with breathing detected by pressure drop
    • Separate outgoing air sucked out, but not completely - using pressure sensor to maintain slight pressure above atmospheric pressure to keep lung inflated
    • Some kind of cheap to make hot wire air flow sensor to measure total volume of air, and the air temperature of air going into the sensor.
    • Clear large menu display
    • Large buttons / keypad to operate the display
    • Notice now that due to shortages of ventilators, some have split the air hoses to connect multiple people.
      • One giant source of air supply and vacuum pump could be split endlessly to many people. All we would need then are a small number of sensors and control box per person instead of one ventilator per person. Special air valves needed to regulate high pressure air into lung pressure air needed to make this system work. The software need less effort to write.
  • A shipment of special batteries that charge in 6 minutes arrive from China. We divert this for ventilator battery backup system prototyping work.

Open Source Ventilator Resources


Open Source Mask Resources


No comment


Sensors and Components


Sources for Information


Big Data


Repair Manuals of Existing Ventilators


Bleeding edge know how


Desperate Measures


News


Government Policy Ideas and Technology Ideas

  1. Governments all around the world need to bulk purchase utility output electric, water, gas, telecom and pay for it directly so that the public are not being invoiced for it. Tell banks/landlords to stop invoicing. So no one is getting unnecessary bills during emergency. Some of it happening in finance sector with interest holidays already 😀. And at least one country has gone towards cancelling utility payments. But the majority of countries and civil servants are blasé towards this source of cash drain and piling on huge debts on families for what purpose exactly?
  2. Roll out UBI during emergency - this is largely happening in some countries 😀. Other countries should step up to the task and copy.
  3. Move the public into Internet of Fiber Era. Strip genocidal telecom and cable companies of rights to sue governments and local authorities in opposing roll out of fiber and only use their revenues to invest and fiber to reduce future billing. The telecom and cable companies have been hugely responsible for preventing home working for best part of a decade and through that has assisted with spread of virus on a genocidal scale.
  4. Begin roll out of Crowd Governance through Internet. It is 24/7 always on efficient decentralized governance to allocate resources.
  5. Make centrifuge beds to empty lungs of fluid build up.




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Page last modified on April 07, 2020, at 11:39 AM