Many have asked, “Could the Library’s 3D printers help create urgently-needed healthcare equipment?” After careful testing and coordination with the Northern Colorado Face Shield Project, the answer is ‘yes’!
From making and sewing masks to creating supplies for the healthcare community, Estes Valley residents are using their skills and ingenuity to keep us safe and help our healthcare community. That includes two members of the Library team: Lulzbot TAZ6 (pictured at left) and its sidekick, the Lulzbot Mini. These 3D printers, which normally reside in the Library’s Makerspace, are working from their temporary home, making parts in coordination with the Northern Colorado Face Shield Project (NoCoFS).
The Lulzbot TAZ6 has now 3D-printed 52 frames, and is creating more each day. The first batch has been delivered to NoCoFS, who will add the clear shield and elastic to the Library’s plastic frames, while sanitizing them using industry standards. That leads to a complete face shield, like the one pictured on the right.
As a registered partner with NoCoFS, the Library benefits from that organization’s daily updates and recommendations, which are also informed and guided by the statewide Make4Covid organization. These organizations are tracking health care needs on a daily basis, and as supply needs ebb and flow, the Library will shift its printing operation to meet those changing needs.
The Lulzbot Mini is now pitching in as well by making face-mask buckles, also called “ear savers”. These simple devices make the wearing of face masks more comfortable for health care workers (like the example pictured here).
Overseeing the Library’s efforts is IT Specialist Allison Cavis. If you have 3D printing equipment and are wondering if you could help, Allison recommends contacting the NoCoFS Team and reviewing their detailed specifications. NoCoFS currently has the best advice on how to assist, what materials may be required, and what help is most needed.
The Library is grateful to be able to deploy our community’s 3D printers to help the health care community in their efforts to save lives and care for patients, as the nation takes continued efforts to flatten the curve of COVID-19 cases and protect vulnerable populations.
Visit Northern Colorado Face Shield Project for more information
Visit Make4covid for more information about statewide activities