3D Printed PPE: Chapter Leaders Fight COVID-19

April 29, 2020

This post originally appeared on our Makers Making Change website (new window).

Over the past month, we’ve seen makers all over the world step up to create 3D printed (new window) personal protective equipment (PPE). Many of our Makers Making Change Chapter Leaders have been involved with these efforts at through their own companies, makerspaces (new window) and community groups outside of Makers Making Change (new window). It’s been overwhelming to see the number of maker heroes out there, using their tools and skills to help front line workers, family members and their greater communities.

This blog is to give a shout out to our Chapter Leaders who make the world a better place on so many levels!

3D printed mask holders

Washington Chapter

Bellingham Makerspace

Mary Elliot and the Bellingham Makerspace (new window) members are creating PPE for PeaceHealth St. Joseph’s Hospital (new window). To do this, they partnered with Portland Print Lab (new window). The Bellingham Makerspace is also creating new designs as requests for PPE come in. Recently, they posted files for a prototype for a Tyvek Hospital gown which we’ve posted to the COVID-19 section in the Makers Making Change forum (new window). Please feel free to test out this design and give feedback!

The group also posted another great resource which may be of use anywhere you are located; a free program that allows people how to re-purpose older smartphones and tablets into turn-key video conferencing kits which can be delivered to healthcare facilities in your area. https://covidvirtualtools.ca (new window)

Do you live in the Bellingham area? Other resources, including making medical masks and other protective equipment, or requests for protective masks, these can be found on their Forms and Documents page (new window). If you would like to volunteer, please fill out their volunteer application (new window).

Florida Chapter

P.K. Young’s Roaring Riptide First Robotics Team

Our Gainsville Florida Chapter the Roaring Riptide (new window) have been actively creating face shields and ear savers since the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March. With the help of their coach and MMC Chapter Leader Leigh Anne Brewster, the team contacted hospitals, and joined several Community based initiatives to support the PPE effort: Leigh Anne joined the University of Florida PPE Directors against COVID, the Gainsville HackerspaceMakers against COVID (new window), North Central Florida Orlando Maker Faire groups as well as several Florida Sewist Groups (new window) to create ear protectors for pediatric clinics. Masks and ear savers have been sent to local clinics, but also as far as Chicago and Indianapolis! Go Riptides Go!

If you need PPE in the Gainsville area please contact the Riptides through their Facebook Page (new window).

Winchester Virginia Chapter

Valley Makers Association

Winchester Chapter Leader and Valley Makers Association (new window) President Ryan Hall is very busy! He is engaging his local maker community to create PPE for Valley Health, Winchester Pediatric Clinic (new window) and Winchester Medical Center (new window). The Valley Makers Association Facebook page (new window) also links to a cloth face mask initiative called Valley Maker Masks (new window) that some of their members are also a part of. Pictured below is Valley Makers Association member Tiffany Withem modelling a 3D printed face shield.

If you are near in Virginia in and around Winchester, please fill out the Valley Makers PPE needs survey (new window).

New Mexico Chapter


Alice’s company 505Access (new window) was contracted to create to 1000 face shields (new window) for local hospitals. For this, Alice is working with Tanda at Vanguard Technology Corp (new window) to straighten parts of the design so that many units may be nested and cut with laser, waterjet or similar cutters. Alice has enlisted the help of Albuquerque maker groups such as  FUSE Makerspace (new window) to 3D print the PPE faceshields. Alice updated the design below and gave samples to the Hospital and got the OK and passed the Hospital’s Infection Control tests.

If you need PPE in the Albuquerque area, please contact Alice (new window).

Alice wearing a face shield ppe instructions

Alice’s partner in the Albuquerque New Mexico Chapter, Will Ford is in the process of renting a warehouse space. He plans to create 3D printed PPE face shields for the local health care workers.

Do you want to create PPE for your community?

Check out our COVID Guidelines for Makers (new window). Our team of administrators and engineers keep up to date with designs, safety procedures for handling PPE.

The Makers Making Change Forum (new window) is a great place to post links to PPE design prototypes in progress. Here, you can also  post about your local initiatives.