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U of U 3-D printing face shields for healthcare workers fighting coronavirus pandemic

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Libraries University of Utah are joining the fight against coronavirus by helping produce much-needed supplies for healthcare workers. (Photo: U of U){ }

Libraries at the University of Utah are joining the fight against coronavirus by helping produce much-needed supplies for healthcare workers.

Staff members at the U’s J. Willard Marriott Library, Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library and Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute are working to produce and distribute face shields.

“When the U’s Office of the Vice President for Research asked the campus community for donations of personal protective equipment (PPE), we looked to our 3-D printing team immediately,” Catherine Soehner, associate dean and director of the Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library, stated in a press release.

Fortunately, we were able to gather the necessary supplies quickly and our team was able to get right on it.

Last weekend, TJ Ferrill, head of creative spaces at the Marriott Library, and Ben Engel, user experience developer at the Eccles Health Sciences Library, began developing prototypes of the needed supplies. They started with face shields that are used to protect the eyes, nose and mouth from body fluids.

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Ferrill and Engel designed a version to share with Tad Morley, the health executive director of Outreach and Network Development at the U, who is leading the effort for community PPE donations.

When all 30 3-D printers are up and running, Ferrill and Engel will produce approximately 300 face shields a day.

“When we first started building our 3-D printing program back in 2013, we had no idea the scale at which our program would expand and how we would one day play a role that would touch so many lives,” Alberta Comer, dean of libraries at the University of Utah, stated in a press release.

We are fortunate to be a part of helping provide the protective shields that our health care workers so desperately need and we’ll continue to help in any way we can.