SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — UCSF team “Makers Lab” is producing thousands of face shields for health care workers putting their lives on the line during the coronavirus pandemic.

The face shields will assist nurses and physicians at UCSF Medical Center and beyond.

The need for personal protective equipment (PPE) is extremely high for frontline health care workers during the crisis.

Using 3D printers, the team is producing 300 shields per day and is expecting production to increase. They are sharing their printing procedures with the world online.

The new shields have two main parts: a 3D-printed headband and a plastic film that attaches to the headband to protect the face. The headband can be secured using three knotted rubber bands.

The headband is made from PET-G, a plastic used in some water bottles. The plastic film is a repurposed sheet of the clear plastic used to cover bound reports in schools and businesses.

“This protects a worker’s face from splashes and droplets,” Ramana Sastry, director of clinical engineering at UCSF Health, who is involved in the project, said.  “This design is key, not only because it’s inexpensive and quick, but also because we’re talking about extended use and reuse.”

The design has been approved by UCSF’s PPE Task Force as well as the departments of Clinical Technologies, Infection Control, and Safety. 

The total cost of the materials is less than $1.00 per shield, and each shield takes about an hour and 20 minutes to manufacture.

Additionally, the PET-G is recyclable.

Sastry said comparable face shields in the current environment of scarcity and stalled supply chains cost about $20 each.

The shields are being made at the UCSF Makers Lab, housed in UCSF’s Kalmanovitz Library.

Full production of the face shields began on April 1.

The team hopes to ramp up production by partnering with manufacturing facilities that have many printers that can be run 24 hours a day.

Latest News Headlines: