San Mateo County Libraries (SMCL)’s 3D printers are being used to churn out personal protective equipment (PPE) for front-line medical staff in the community.
This week, according to the library system, staff began using the 17 3D printers — typically used to make tools and other items — to instead create face shields and ear guards to protect front line medical staff. More than 300 ear guards have already printed and the goal is to deliver over 600 face shields in the coming weeks, according to a blog post by SMCL.
Anne-Marie Despain, Director of Library Services, said with library branches closed “we wanted to find a creative way to put our machines to good use and to help make a difference.”
The ear guards being made are adjustable, thus more comfortable than typical versions, and take less than 10 minutes to create. It was designed and shared online by a 12-year-old Boy Scout in Canada. The face shield design is based on an open-source online design file. Each shield takes about 40 minutes to make, according to SMCL.
SMCL is working with the San Mateo County Health Department and Emergency Operations Center on a plan to deliver the gear. Not only that, six other library systems have teamed with SMCL to print from the same design files.
Photo credit: SMCL