3D technology used to make face shields for healthcare workers

Coronavirus

NORTH OLMSTED, Ohio (WJW) – 3D technology is the latest weapon in the battle against COVID-19.

Every day, more than 200 plastic face shields are being created for Northeast Ohio healthcare workers on the front lines.

“We have 20 individuals who are at their homes printing these — each of the masks. This is one of our first prototypes but it’s representative of what we’re still doing.”

This grassroots effort is being spearheaded by North Olmsted Ward 2 Councilman Chris Glassburn, who says he was recently approached by a former classmate asking for help.

An initial $1,500 donation helped to get the project off the ground, and in just a matter of days, so-called “Resident Labs” were up and running, with 75 machines at 30 locations in Northeast Ohio.

“One of the schools in my ward, Maple Intermediate School, offered to join us and it keeps growing every day.”

With 3D printers also on loan from the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, roughly 700 shields have already been delivered to workers at MetroHealth Medical Center and University Hospitals.

And they are reusable, to be worn in tandem with N95 masks.

“We’re getting material since they are donated or where we can find and we bought materials from as far west as Los Angeles, as far east as Boston and as they come in we have three different plastics for the pretty material three different plastics for the face shield.”

The goal is to eventually have mass production, creating 10,000 a day with wider distribution for fire and police departments, as well as nursing home employees.

“With the nature of this virus, we’re trying to get production of these going so that everyone has the same level of protection.”

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