Solving Pressing Challenges: 3D Printing of Medical Grade Face Shields

Friday, April 3, 2020
Stacks of PLA headbands created at the 3D print lab

Stacks of PLA headbands created at the 3D print lab

As medical care providers on the front lines deliver patient care during the COVID-19 pandemic, a Duke task force is also working to ensure Duke Health does not experience a medical equipment supply shortage similar to hospitals around the country. The task force comprised of Duke engineers, medical and technology professionals developed a reusable medical face shield using Duke’s 3D printing technology.

When social-distancing began in mid-March to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, Duke engineering professors Ken Gall, Paul Fearis and Eric Richardson began considering how to quickly address the needs arising from the disease. They gathered colleagues from the Pratt School of Engineering’s Engineering Entrepreneurship (EngEn) team and fellows in Richardson's Duke Design Health course to begin exploring designs for medical devices that could help amid the supply shortages. The unusual design program attracts students from Duke’s School of Medicine, NursingFuqua and Trinity as well as Duke Engineering.

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