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Chico State creating 3D Face Shields for health care workers

Chico State is partnering with Enloe Medical Center to provide much needed protective wear for frontline workers.

Posted: Apr 22, 2020 10:21 AM

CHICO, Calif. - Chico State faculty, staff, students, and community members are using 3D printers to make face shields to donate to places like Enloe Medical Center.

Action News Now spoke with Greg Watkins chair of CSU, Chico’s Department of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering and Sustainable Manufacturing.

“The idea is that these are now reusable, these shields can be disconnected and disinfected," Watkins said. "Or once they're used, they can just be replaced."

Watkin said CSU modified design was based on an original design made by Georgia Tech. Idea Fab Labs is producing the plastic face shields that snap onto the frames.

RELATED: Chico company creating masks and shields for workers on the front lines

Eric Ayars, Professor and Chair of Physics of CSU said they are 3D printing the molded frame that supports the plastic shield.

“When we got booted off campus for the isolation, I suspected the 3D printer that we had in our lab would come in handy and so I borrowed that one, it's currently at my desk at home,” Ayars said.

The face shield comes with two parts, the mold and the film.

Watkin says they are looking into another manufacturing processing called plastic injection molding to help produce up to 600 face shield molds a day.

“With the volunteers that we have, with students and community, we are able to produce 100 a week," Watkins said. "Enloe wants an initial 2,000, we been in touch with the North Valley Community Foundation who wants to support this effort and they feel that the community demand may be closer to 10,000."

Ayars said one piece takes about an hour to make so volunteers are needed.

In the next phase, they are seeking approval from the university to allow students to come on campus to make the mold and run production on the plastic injection mold machine.

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