HACKETTSTOWN, NJ - The Centenary Stage Company, a not-for-profit professional theatre company in residency on the campus of Centenary University in Hackettstown, NJ, has teamed up with WisEngineering, LLC and the larger 3D printing community to produce 3D printed personal protective equipment (PPE) for local healthcare and first responder personnel on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The item being produced is the very much needed face shield holder which is used to protect N95 masks and extend the usability of a single mask, making the need to dispose of them less frequent. The face shield holder produced is the North American 6-hole punch design created by 3dverkstan, a 3D printing company based out of Sweden. The open source, free-to-use files can be found on their website: https://3dverkstan.se/protective-visor/. To complete the face shield all that’s needed is a standard US 8.5 x 11inch clear plastic sized sheet that’s hole punched using an included pattern and fitted onto the attachment pegs of the 3D printed holder. These plastic sheets can be removed, discarded and replaced as per the included instructions or disinfected for continued use.
Recognizing the growing need for this type of PPE, Jonathan Young, Senior Environment Artist & Production Designer of WisEngineering, LLC, launched the initiative to organize their team of highly skilled engineers and 3D artists to produce the 3d printed face shields.
“It upset me to see so many medical professionals feeling overwhelmed and under-supplied and at the same time I was aware of a push within the 3D printing community of addressing the supply shortages,” Young said. Young then reached out to several different organizations with 3D printing capabilities including the Centenary Stage Company where his brother, Christopher Young, serves as the General Manager. “It was a no-brainer,” said Christopher Young, “we’re fortunate enough to have two 3D printers and we honestly couldn’t imagine a better use for them at this time.”
Centenary Stage Company volunteers and Centenary University Theatre Department costume design students, along with staff and faculty had already been sewing cloth masks for donation. Centenary Stage Company’s Artistic Director, Carl Wallnau said, “From costume design students and volunteers making face masks for the health care workers to now helping by re-purposing our 3D printers to the making of plastic face shields, we remain committed to helping our community at this critical time and applaud everyone who is providing their skills and talent to this fight.”
Since the launch of the initiative on April 6, 2020, the collective has received requests for 3D printed PPE from throughout NJ, as well as inquiries from healthcare facilities in Oklahoma, Georgia and several other states. So far more than 300 face shields have been produced and donated to across eight different healthcare facilities with plans to continue production.
Healthcare workers, first responders or other organizations interested in receiving this type of PPE may contact either Jonathan Young at firstname.lastname@example.org or Christopher Young at email@example.com. Additionally, community members or organizations with 3D printing capabilities that are interested in volunteering and/or coordinating are encouraged to reach out as well.
(PICTURED: Members of Allamuchy - Green First Aid Squad show their appreciation to Centenary Stage Company for the 3D printed face shield holders, an important piece of PPE needed to combat COVID-19. Photo courtesy of Allamuchy - Green First Aid Squad and Centenary Stage Company.)