Tessa’s Weekly Picks – 3D Printed for Healthcare Workers


Tessa Blokland  


I have great admiration for all the people working in healthcare. I embrace their call ‘you can help us by staying at home’. I can and will do that of course! Also, I know I can’t do the work they do and I simply have not idea what it is like to work day in day out in such an emotionally stressfully environment. If you are wondering what you can do for the healthcare workers, take inspiration from the people and companies in this blog post. Even if you don’t know what you can offer, this is what you can do: stay at home if you can, donate if you can miss it, and share as much knowledge and skills as you can.

A handful of NASCAR‘s (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing) engineers at its Research & Technology center have volunteered to put in their skills to 3D print face shields for healthcare workers in the US. Since racing also came to a stop because of the coronavirus, their printers have been running 18 hours a day.

Also, Carbon has collaborated with partners to design PPE (personal protective equipment) face shields that can be produced and assembled quickly. The 3D printed headband is made with the company’s digital production resin polymer, it is lightweight and can be wiped clean.

Here is an example of a 3D printed face shield, created by delaparra. ‘I printed this face shield for my neurosurgeon friend. It printed in about 4h and it came out with a great quality and structure. I’m an engineer with interest in biomedical imaging and medical 3D printing.’ A great example of what just one individual can do to help a friend, right?

On a more international level, the Volkswagen Group had started to produce 3D printed face shield holders. This is part of a joint transnational initiative with Airbus and the 3D printing network Mobility Goes Additive, which includes about 250 companies. In the Volkswagen newsroom, you can actually see a short film, showing part of the production process of the face shield holders. Imagine the amount needed to protect all healthcare workers. The goal is to make as many 3D printed face shields as possible.

In the UK, British multinational automaker Jaguar Land Rover, turned its prototype build operations to start production of 3D printed protective visors for key workers. 3D printing enabled the engineers to work through several iterations of the design in under a week, allowing for medical staff to give feedback and improvements to be made. Dr. Steve Iley, Chief Medical Officer for Jaguar Land Rover, mentions on the website: “The health and safety of our employees, customers and their families remains our priority.” He also states that it is important that we all utilize our skills, expertise, and facilities to help protect healthcare workers on the frontline in this crisis. “We can all play a part in helping those who need it most.” I can only second that!

The last example of 3D printed face shields comes from Nagami Design. The Spanish furniture brand has adapted the open-source code by Prusa for its robotic arm. It can 3D print up to 500 protective face shields a day. On the website, it states that these 3D printed face shields are being donated to Hospital Provincial de Ávila, near Nagami Design’s factory in Spain. The studio is planning to give them to hospitals in Madrid and the La Rioja region, in northern Spain, next (also up top).

LEO Lane_Weekly Pick_3D Printed for Healthcare Workers

Each of Tessa’s weekly picks is a curated group of 3D printed designs, based on the week’s chosen theme. If you would like to offer a theme for Tessa, or if you have your own 3D printed weekly picks you would like to see featured, please let us know by commenting below. Subscribe to the newsletter to get the latest weekly picks every week in your mailbox.

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