Iowa State University students printing 3D face shields for hospital workers in Iowa

Published: Apr. 2, 2020 at 2:03 PM CDT
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Some student workers at Iowa State University are helping out hospitals in need of personal protective equipment. They are printing 3-D face shields to give to hospital workers across the state. They have made more than 300 in the two weeks they started doing them.

The students will make a total of 2,000 3D face shields over the next couple of weeks. Hospital workers are giving them advice on how they should be designed.

It takes about three hours to print out the parts for one face shield.

Leaders say it's the least they can do to help out hospital workers.

"At a time where there's a lot of uncertainty and a lot of fear of the unknown of what can happen.,” said Shelby Doyle, Assistant Professor at Iowa State University. “If we can get the supplies to the people who are doing this work, it's something that we can contribute a tiny amount in a really challenging time.”

Student workers are putting in 10 hour work weeks and are getting paid for it. They practice social distance by rotating shifts. The room they work in is also big enough so they can spread out.

Leaders say they wanted to keep the student workers employed.

“They get paid hourly so and I thought that keeping people employed as much as possible is something that helps in its own way I hope,” said Doyle.

Iowa State is partnering with Alliant Energy for the project. Alliant is funding the 3D printing and donating the supplies.

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