Chapman students make 3-D face shields 

Students and faculty from Chapman University’s Fowler School of Engineering and Schmid College of Science and Technology are using 3-D technology to print face shields for healthcare workers treating COVID-19 patients. Chapman is working in collaboration with Orange County-based MatterHackers – which builds and supplies 3-D printing equipment – to coordinate distribution to local hospitals. 

Using Chapman’s 3-D printers set up in their homes, students and faculty are printing several hundred shields per week, and have already donated more than 2,000 shields to hospitals in Southern California and around the country. The shields are produced following strict guidelines to ensure sterility – including minimal handling that is only done with gloves and face shields – and the models have been vetted by the National Institute of Health (NIH). 

“When you get down to it, engineering is about building, and the best builds are the ones that keep human needs at the forefront,” says Chapman’s Erik Linstead, associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science. “It's satisfying to be able to do something for our healthcare workers during these difficult times." 

MatterHackers has established a maker response hub that includes forms for individual makers, print labs, and engineers with 3-D printers or other digital fabrication tools to register their machines and start making crucial supplies. Healthcare professionals and medical facilities can also use the response hub to register for assistance and to be connected to local manufacturing sources. 

May 2020