Local Makerspace Designs Laser-Cut Face Shields For Health Care Workers

Local Makerspace Designs Laser-Cut Face Shields For Health Care Workers

3:46pm Apr 07, 2020
Pieces of the face shields designed by those at MIXXER, a Winston-Salem makerspace. Image courtesy: MIXXER

Winston-Salem's local makerspace is tackling the problem of personal protective equipment (PPE) shortages in the face of COVID-19. As a result, the MIXXER community has designed a face shield that can be laser-cut.

A makerspace is a place where people can go to invent, create, and design things they might not otherwise have the resources for. MIXXER houses a metalworking shop, woodworking shop, tech lab with a 3D printer, and more. 

Although individuals can’t use the space in the same way due to social distancing, that hasn’t stopped folks from coming together to find solutions.

Alan Shelton is the Executive Director of MIXXER. He says he first thought about 3D printing face shields for health care workers but decided to go with a faster laser-cut method.

“With the help of some of our members we redesigned one of the face shield designs and we prototyped it until we got something that would work," he says. "And then we produced samples that we could send out to [Wake Forest] Baptist hospital, so they could test them.”

The shields are made from locally sourced plastic that can withstand the heat of the necessary cleaning process.

After more feedback from health care providers, a larger manufacturer, U.S. Metal Crafters in Archdale, NC, can begin producing more.

MIXXER has also shared the design on their website.

For the most up-to-date information on coronavirus in North Carolina, visit our Live Updates blog here. WFDD wants to hear your stories — connect with us and let us know what you’re experiencing.

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