The Innovation Lab at the University of Notre Dame IDEA Center is using 3D printing technology to help meet the region’s Personal Protective Equipment needs. Led by Director Matthew Leevy, the lab says it’s able to produce as many as 250 non-disposable face shields per day.
Leevy says the effort is a cross-functional response of Notre Dame faculty and staff to produce several thousand face shields at the request of local and regional medical systems. According to Leevy, printers from throughout the South Bend campus and the local community have been relocated to the Innovation Lab. The university says it is donating all labor, materials, and equipment used to make the shields.
“We are blessed to have the resources at Notre Dame to make an immediate impact on the needs of our local medical community,” Leevy said. “Once the word spread on campus and in the community that we were prototyping a medical face shield, many colleagues stepped up to join our effort.”
More than 40 machines are on temporary loan at the Innovation Lab working on the shields, and Leevy says that the quality of the face shield model being produced at Notre Dame ensures that they can be cleaned, disinfected and re-used.
The university says each face shield will be accompanied by a custom wood coin for the recipient inscribed with the words “Notre Dame supports you” on one side and a design of Jesus with outstretched arms on the reverse. Recycled wood from Notre Dame Stadium bleachers was used to make the coins.
After completing an initial 3,000 face shields, Leevy says a continued effort will be made to make additional PPE to support other healthcare facilities.