Have a 3D Printer? You Can Use It to Make Face Shields for Medical Workers

 

When a call went out to researchers at Michigan State University to search their labs for medical supplies such as face masks and donate them to medical workers battling COVID-19, assistant professor Nathan Tykocki and his colleagues started talking about how else they could help. They had 3D printers on hand. How could they put them to use?

As many other researchers and home hobbyists have discovered, the most promising answer turned out to be face shields. Simple in design, face shields can be produced and assembled by hobbyists on home 3D printers. If you are searching for a way to help medical workers and already have a 3D printer (or even a laser cutter) at home, you might be able to join an organized effort near you.

What is a face shield, and what does it do?

When a call went out to researchers at Michigan State University to search their labs for medical supplies such as face masks and donate them to medical workers battling COVID-19, assistant professor Nathan Tykocki and his colleagues started talking about how else they could help. They had 3D printers on hand. How could they put them to use?

As many other researchers and home hobbyists have discovered, the most promising answer turned out to be face shields. Simple in design, face shields can be produced and assembled by hobbyists on home 3D printers. If you are searching for a way to help medical workers and already have a 3D printer (or even a laser cutter) at home, you might be able to join an organized effort near you.

What is a face shield, and what does it do?

There are many types of face shields, but the type most medical workers are seeking is a piece of clear, curved plastic suspended in front of the wearer’s face by a headband. It helps stop bodily fluids and droplets, whether from a patient’s cough or a medical event such as a birth, from reaching the wearer’s eyes, nose, or mouth. A shield is usually meant to provide secondary protection when used with a primary piece of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as a face mask.

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