To assist with COVID-19 relief efforts, the Baldwin Public Library Idea Lab is 3D printing protective face shields for donation to local hospitals. These shields are an important part of the protective equipment worn by medical professionals, and act as the first line of defense by preventing viral particles from reaching the face.

The head bracket is 3D printed, and the shield itself is a common acetate sheet. Eleven 3D printers are able to produce the shields at a rate of one shield every 3 minutes. After printing, the masks are sterilized in The Idea Lab’s vacuum desiccator, and bagged for delivery. The shield design the Idea Lab is printing is the “Modified Verkstan V1,” a model available for download on Thingiverse.com by user TDMakes. The print file is a modification of an original design from 3DVerkstan, a Swedish additive manufacturing firm.

A regular user of the Idea Lab, Tommy Daguano, donated the first batch of acetate sheets, and delivered Baldwin’s first set of 100 masks to Beaumont Hospital on Friday, March 27. The Idea Lab has also printed shields for each member of the Birmingham Fire Department.

After hearing about the initial success of the project, the Friends of the Baldwin Public Library have donated $2,320 to purchase supplies to make 2,000 face shields and purchase an additional 3D printer for the Idea Lab.

Friends President Ryndee Carney said, “Everyone is proud and excited to support this initiative, especially in our 70th anniversary year. The Friends have a long tradition of donating equipment to the BPL.” Community members interested in supporting this project financially may make donations to the Friends of the Baldwin Public Library online at www.baldwinlib.org/friends.

With the influx of donations and community support, Idea Lab Supervisor and project coordinator Jeff Jimison said, “Thanks to the Friends donation, and funding from other sources as well, our group now has eleven 3D printers devoted to producing vital PPE. This puts us on track to deliver 500 face shields to local hospitals this week. This is what we can accomplish when we work together!”

3D Printed Face Mask for COVID-19

If you’d like more information or would like to donate money to this cause, please email Jeff Jimison in the Idea Lab.

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