Loudoun public libraries use 3D printers to make face shields for health workers, first responders

Public libraries in Loudoun County, Virginia, are using 3D printers to create face shields for health care workers and first responders on the frontlines during the coronavirus pandemic.

A 3D-printed face shield made by the Loudoun County Public Library is seen. (Courtesy Loudoun County Public Library)

The Brambleton, Gum Spring, Rust and Sterling branches are expected to produce between 1,000 to 1,200 face shields per week utilizing Makerspace equipment, according to a release.

The shields will be distributed by the county’s Emergency Operations Center and go to county agencies as well as long-term care facilities that have identified a critical shortage of personal protective equipment.

“We are eager to help,” said LCPL Director Chang Liu.

“Loudoun County Public Library’s Makerspace staff and state-of-the-art equipment have been a tremendous resource for our customers and now they will be working full-time producing personal protective equipment for the heroes in our community battling the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“Face shields are critically needed and have been a difficult resource to obtain during this pandemic,” said Loudoun County Health Department Director Dr. David Goodfriend. “This is a great example of how county departments are working together to use our resources in new ways to meet community needs.”

The LCPL system is using 23 3D printers to get the job done, and they’re being made in accordance with National Institutes of Health guidelines.

For information on how to donate or request PPE, visit loudoun.gov/ppe.

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Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Editor and reporter for WTOP.com. He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

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