Makers are rushing to fight coronavirus with 3D printed face shields and test swabs

When Madiha Choksi, a research and learning technologies librarian at Columbia University, received a call for help from a doctor last week, she didn’t hesitate

By Saturday, she printed off five prototypes of the shields—the part that needs to be 3D printed is like a visor that fits on your forehead, holding in place an acetate sheet—and passed them off to Elias for approval. By Monday, she went to Newark to connect with Tangible Creative, a 3D printing manufacturer with about 75 machines. A week later, she has set up an assembly line at the 92nd Street Y to put these face shields together

Within the past week, Tangible Creative went from printing 60 on the first day to up to 500 in a day, after they were able to automate the production

“At first it was very exciting and cool to use 3D printing in this innovative and important way, but it changed pretty quickly to be daunting when we realized the demand is pretty great,” he admits. “This is the first time since I’ve been in this business that I’m like, ‘I don’t have nearly enough printers.’