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Project Trestle: 50k+ Face Shields during the Early Pandemic



While the genesis of the COVID-19 pandemic brought uncertainty and instability to the global community, the prevailing question for Google engineers was “How can we help?”

In response to the widespread need for personal protective equipment (PPE), I co-founded an initiative with teammates at Google ATAP (Advanced Technology and Products) that fabricated 50,000+ face shields at Google. 


Our coalition of 90+ interdisciplinary engineers and designers formed Project Trestle: an effort across teams, organizations, and fabrication labs to prototype and scale rapidly manufacturable face shields and donate them to local medical professionals. 


left // our final face shield design

During this 6 week project, our core team:


  • Brought together 89 volunteers from 12 orgs to conceptualize, design, iterate, validate, approve, manufacture, and ship PPE.

  • Coordinated distribution of >50k face shields to >58 U.S. healthcare facilities, and to Google P0 data centers globally.

  • Granted FDA Emergency Use Authorization and Google executive legal/PR/policy approval.

  • Designed a face shield comprised of >90% post-consumer plastic

  • Released open source design for global manufacturing.


Using readily available materials and expert personnel, the team rapidly produced PPE for local hospitals and medical providers that meets the current “crisis capacity” demand.


This proof-of-concept bridge to production was designed to meet the immediate needs of local hospitals and to provide best practices to new manufacturers adapting existing fabrication pipelines to produce millions of PPE units.

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