Hudson Valley Additive Manufacturing Center (HVAMC) has recently released information about how to help produce face shields for medical facilities, including hospitals, first responders, nursing homes, and dentists. HVAMC is printing almost 200 face shields a day, though the need for PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) is growing daily. If you have access to a 3D printer, you can help too!
To get an inside look at the process of making face shields, I turned to our 3D printing expert and Story Time wizard Alex Ferguson. Alex has already printed and delivered 70 face shields and is continuing his efforts to produce as many PPE parts as he can.
Q: Alex, what tools do you have access to in order to 3D print these face shields?
A: I have the Esopus Library's 2 Original Prusa i3 MK3 3D printers, and I have filament laying around that I've been meaning to put to good use. Also I have a computer that can run Prusa Sli3r software to get the 3D print files ready to print.
Q: Can you explain what filament you are using to create these PPEs and how it compares to a usual 3D printing filament?
A: I'm using PLA filament, and that is pretty much what I always use as it produces the least amount of VOC's and usually produces great results.
Q: What is the need right now, regarding printing face shield parts?
A: Currently the need is the back of the head band part that attaches to the rubber bands. The Hudson Valley Additive Manufacturing center is making the other parts more quickly than these, so that's what they need most.
Q: Last question: If someone would like to help print these face shields, what advice would you give to them?
A: Use the scientific method and test refine, test refine. I currently use a high temperature 240C to print, and I've increased the bed temperature to 80C to prevent warping. I've also lowered the flow rate to 75% in order to make them not stick together. You'll need to find the settings that work for your printer.
For more information on HVAMC and their PPE efforts, click on this link:
To read about disinfecting 3D printed face shields, click on this link: