3D-printed face shields coming to healthcare workers thanks to local business

Local company 3D printing face shields for healthcare workers

BUTLER COUNTY, Ohio (FOX19) - A Milford man is switching up his work operations to help fight the shortage of personal protective equipment at local hospitals. He is making face shields with a 3D printer.

The GrizzLee3D printing shop is mostly known for selling costumes and elaborate masks on Etsy. But now owner Lee Bowling is getting involved in the fight against COVID-19, putting in extra hours to make face shields for frontline medical workers.

“I come from the military where I was an airforce medic," Bowling said. “I also worked in the radiology department where the personal protective equipment, it was major. We have to use it all the time, and to see these nurses and all the other medical professionals not having what they need and having to reuse, which increases risk of infections, is just mind-blowing.”

Bowling started a GoFundMe page to raise money for the material to make the shields and got to work.

The 3D printers make face shields, which take about an hour each. Then a plastic binder sheet is attached to the shield to make the face cover.

“I would say it’s pretty safe as long as you are utilizing the other types of masks underneath," Bowling explained. “It works best with two the n95 and the face shield, but in surgery, in the ER any type of protective equipment is better than nothing.”

Lee started the project last week and has already dropped off three dozen face shields to a local hospital. He plans to have a new batch ready to deliver this weekend.

“Right now I have the capacity to print about 3,000 face shields,” said Bowling.

Bowling adds he will keep making them as long as it’s needed.

“The goal is to keep doing this until the pandemic is over and hospitals are stocked and everything. Then, once it’s all done, all the donations will go towards Doctors Without Borders.”

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