Drexel University launches 3D printing project for face shields amid COVID-19

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Wednesday, April 1, 2020
Drexel making 3D face shields to help healthcare workers
Drexel students and faculty are making 3D face shields to help healthcare workers.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Philadelphia's tech community is really stepping up to help healthcare workers fill the gap on scarce supplies.

Drexel University, a long-time technology leader, has turned it's 3D printing power to making face shields for several hospitals.

After sitting idle since the university closed, printers are now humming again, making headbands for the shields.

Michele Marcolongo, Ph.D., the department head in Materials Science, began the project Sunday at the request of a friend who is an emergency room physician at Einstein Medical Center.

She enlisted colleagues, students and others in the 3D printer community.

They made 60 masks in about three days, but hope to do 200 by the end of the week.

"We have at least 25 going throughout the region, some at Drexel, some in students' basements, and at apartments... just trying to do as much as we can," said Marcolongo.

"It feels really good to be useful and everyone that we've asked to participate on this project has accepted," she says.

They're now looking for a manufacturer to scale up production.

But in the short run, they're looking for more printers at homes, in organizations, or companies, so they can help the Temple University and Jefferson health systems, too.

If you can help, contact Dr. Marcolongo at marcolms@drexel.edu.