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3D Printing Community Comes Together to Make PPE during COVID19 Pandemic

Updated: Sep 28

Never has a community worked harder to make it through a pandemic than in 2020. As a city, we were confronted with enormous challenges, as our citizens were forced to brace for an unprecedented pandemic. We were forced to remain socially distant from each other for weeks to months on end. Businesses were forced to shut down, some temporary and some permanently. Our first responders and healthcare workers made the ultimate sacrifice by caring for those in need while exposing themselves to a relentless invisible virus. From the outside, our streets were quiet. From the inside, we could hear the sounds of 3D printers churning through filament and resin to 3D print personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers in need.  We could not be more proud of our colleagues and collaborators for stepping up to the enormous task of 3D printing thousands of pieces of PPE per day.


Below are examples of a 3D printed face shields. The middle photo shows some shields on a 3D print bed ready to be cleaned up and assembled.



3D printing is unique in that the machines require no retooling or re-calibrating to produce PPE. The first step is to create a digital file which can then be sent to the 3D printer for manufacturing. The maker community has come together to produce thousands of face shields and mask extenders. Some of our colleagues have gotten extremely efficient and have designed 3D models that can be stacked while 3D printing which allows for the production of multiple pieces at once. This saves time and allows for faster production.


Face shields fully assembled


Digital preview of a mask extender on a 3D print bed

We can't stress enough how proud we are of the 3D printing community banding together during this time of crisis. We'd especially like to thank Makelab, 3D Brooklyn and Print-A-World who stepped up to 3D print PPE for front line healthcare workers.


Stay safe and stay healthy.


-CI3D Team

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