SUNY New Paltz Uses 3D Printers to Produce Face Shields for Medical Workers | General News & Politics | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine

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SUNY New Paltz Uses 3D Printers to Produce Face Shields for Medical Workers

HVAMC Pitches in to Aid in the Production of PPE

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Dan Freedman and the staff at Hudson Valley Advanced Manufacturing Center (HVAMC) began producing medical face shields in response to the shortage of medical supplies the Hudson Valley is beginning to experience while battling the novel coronavirus.


The HVAMC has been producing the face shields and distributing them to local medical centers for the last week. “About a week ago we got a call from John Milgrim, the deputy county executive of Ulster, who explained the shortage of protective medical equipment in the county and asked if we were able to print the face shields in our lab,” said Freedman, “We wanted to help and this is something our lab is capable of handling.”

3D printed pieces of pre-assembled face shield.
  • 3D printed pieces of pre-assembled face shield.

The lab on SUNY New Paltz’s campus is equipped with 15 3D printers that are able to produce one of these face shields every half hour, and 200 per day. Each mask is made from both 3D printed parts and recycled overhead transparency film or transparencies from laser printers/copiers found in some educators’ office closets on campus.


As the availability of the transparencies on campus begins to decline, the HVAMC is looking to outsource plastic from IBM, who began cutting plastic sheets to size to use in the production of the face shields. “Plastic needs to be ordered for our operation to continue producing these shields. Our hope is that we only need to produce enough to fill gaps in supply until larger facilities can take over production and distribution,” Freedman said.

A face shield produced at the Hudson Valley Advanced Manufacturing Center at SUNY New Paltz.
  • A face shield produced at the Hudson Valley Advanced Manufacturing Center at SUNY New Paltz.

So far the staff at the HVAMC distributed 440 total face shields to local hospitals, medical centers, testing sites, and elderly care facilities. On Friday alone, 200 shields were sent out to medical professionals across the Hudson Valley. The average size of shipments from the lab have been about 50-100 masks each.


The staff at the HVAMC, along with printing the shields themselves, are providing local schools, companies, and individuals with 3D printing capabilities the resources needed to make the face shields in order to maximize output to the medical professionals who need these supplies so desperately. Freedman noted there are 23 companies and individuals currently producing these face shields for professionals battling the novel coronavirus.

Assistant Headmaster of the Homestead school in Glen Spey, Jack Comstock, began producing face shields after receiving an urgent plea from Dr. Anandaraja, Assistant Clinical Professor in Public Health at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Manhattan for the personal protective equipment they so desperately needed. Comstock, along with several Homestead teachers, were able to produce 30 shields a day at the start of production. By Sunday, March 29, 150 face shields were completed, packaged and handed off to the NYC team for delivery to the hospitals.

Elizabeth Sherwood producing shields at the Homestead school in Glen Spey.
  • Elizabeth Sherwood producing shields at the Homestead school in Glen Spey.

When producing the shields, the HVAMC urges makers to maintain hygiene during the production and packaging processes. “It’s really important not to pass along any viral material. I would minimize the number of people around the printers and everyone should be washing hands/sanitizing regularly. We do not want to make the problem worse,” Freedman noted on the lab’s COVID-19 information page.


Since 2013, HVAMC has both supported the university's academic programs and partnered with local companies to help stimulate economic growth for the region. This most recent venture into assisting in the fight against the spread of COVID-19, was made possibly by longtime supporters of the HVAMC, the NoVo Foundation, and Central Hudson Gas and Electric Corporation through donations.


Elizabeth Sherwood producing shields at the Homestead school in Glen Spey.
  • Elizabeth Sherwood producing shields at the Homestead school in Glen Spey.

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