The Lauinger Library Maker Hub staffers and volunteers have been using the 3D printers to help provide essential personal protective equipment (PPE) to healthcare workers in the area. Using seven of the 3D printers from the Maker Hub, Pascal Girard, Luce Zhu, Willem Miller, and Cameron McKay helped print, pack and ship face shield frames from their homes. Face shields serve as an important safeguard for essential workers and are relatively simple to create. The Maker Hub partnered with We The Builders, a group that is organizing the assembly and delivery of face shields to hospitals in Baltimore, MD. The organization provides clear instructions on how to print, assemble the package in a sterile way, and then send to Open Works, a Makerspace in Baltimore, for assembly and delivery to local healthcare workers. The Maker Hub later transitioned to working with Print to Protect, a Washington, D.C. based organization to serve healthcare workers closer to home.
Our printers have frequently worked with the machines in the Maker Hub, and were eager to make use of their skills during lockdown. The team has also conducted weekly meetings to troubleshoot issues and discuss other projects. Makers have been using both Ultimakers and Maker Bots to produce the prints, and are utilizing the Maker Hub’s supply of PLA filament as well as generous donations from Ultimaker. Each face shield requires two prints, and each print takes about two hours. Once makers seal the gear in a ziplock bag for transportation, the PPE is picked up and sent to Open Works via FedEx.