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3D printers at Loyola create face shields for local health care professionals

| By Molly Robey
3D printers at Loyola University Maryland

Faculty and staff members at Loyola University Maryland are using 3D printers and laser cutters to create face shields for hospitals in the Baltimore area. The initiative was launched by Open Works, a makerspace in Baltimore, and We the Builders, a group of makers in Baltimore who build sculptures from 3D-printed materials. 

Matthew Treskon, technology librarian; Billy Friebele, MFA, assistant professor of fine arts; and Yanko Kranov, laboratory manager and affiliate professor of engineering, are using a pattern created by Prusa Labs in the Czech Republic to 3D print materials needed to build CDC-level recommended face shields.3d printed face shield

Treskon operates three 3D printers owned by Loyola/Notre Dame Library to create the two plastic parts for the top and bottom parts of the face shield. The printers can create 12 sets per day. Treskon has donated 24 sets so far and will continue to print seven days a week for as long as there is a need. Friebele is also creating two plastic parts for the top and bottom of the face shields. Kranov makes full face shields using 3D printers and laser cutters in the engineering department at Loyola. According to Kranov, it takes roughly four to five hours to complete one face shield.

“First responders and health care workers are today’s heroes,” said Treskon. “I’m glad my colleagues at Loyola and I can use our skills and technology, including the 3D printers from the Library’s makerspace, to support our community and those that work towards keeping us all safe and healthy.”

Loyola’s involvement with creating face shields started when Jennifer Sullivan, program coordinator for Natural and Applied Sciences, heard about the initiative by Open Works on the local news. Loyola faculty and administrators worked to bring the initiative to Loyola in a matter of days. 

“I was amazed at how quickly everyone pulled together to help with this project,” said Sullivan. “In less than a week, three community members from different departments started producing face shields and utilizing Loyola’s resources to aid our local health care facilities in a time of crisis. This speaks to the heart of our mission at Loyola to be people for others. The generosity of spirit, time, and talent shown by Matthew, Yanko, and Billy really captures Loyola’s Jesuit values.”

Plastic parts and face shields created by Friebele and Treskon are dropped off at an organized location. Open Works takes the supplies and coordinates the configuring by We the Builders and distribution to local hospitals including LifeBridge Health, Johns Hopkins Hospital, and the University of Maryland Medical System. 

In addition, face shields created by Kranov are donated to the Sinai Hospital and LifeBridge Health. 

For more information about 3D printing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), visit the We the Builders website.

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