JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. – A southern Indiana community workshop is ramping up production of face shields for medical workers and hopes to produce 2,000 a day amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Maker13 and the Jeffersonville workshop’s owner, John Riley, are using 3D printing equipment to make face shields for hospitals, with help from community partners. The face shields can extend the lifespan of face masks crucial for protecting medical workers as they treat COVID-19 patients.
Maker13's space was shuttered in March due to the pandemic, but Riley said the workshop was reactivated to help respond to the shortage of personal protective equipment.
He reached out to University of Louisville officials and learned supplies of approved face masks were getting used almost immediately.
“We had a lot of equipment sitting idle,” Riley told the News and Tribune. “I wanted to figure out how we could use the 3D lasers and printers, and if we needed to turn on sewing for the face masks. We tried to figure out how to best use the equipment.”
He said the workshop may be able to produce some 2,000 face shields daily.
To help fund the face shield process, Samtec Cares contributed $50,000, along with material and expertise. That funding will allow the production of between 20,000 and 30,000 face shields, Riley said.
Once they are finished, they'll be handed off to the University of Louisville for sanitization, where they will then make their way to local hospitals.
Riley said links will be added to www.maker13.com that will allow people to request equipment or donate to the cause.