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PHCC is 3D printing face shields for healthcare workers

Updated: Mar 26, 2020

MARTINSVILLE, VA – Patrick Henry Community College is using its 3D printers to create face shields for local healthcare workers.

Around the nation, colleges and private industries are pooling resources to help equip health workers to meet the increased need caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We certainly hope that COVID-19 does not come to Martinsville – that we never see a single case in our community – but we have to recognize that it is a possibility and we want our community to be prepared,” President Dr. Angeline Godwin said.

The college’s Thomas P. Dalton IDEA Center in Uptown Martinsville is equipped with several 3D printers large enough to print the face shields which will be sent to Sovah Health.

The college has already completed a prototype and is making arrangements for mass production.

To do this, PHCC has expanded its production capacity by pulling the 3D printers from its MET Complex and it’s Mobile Learning Lab.

Each mask takes four hours to produce so consolidating and utilizing every printer is essential.

These plastic face shields are a vital means of protection for healthcare workers who are caring for patients with infections disease.

“We are so glad to have a way that we can help those who are really on the front lines of this fight. As a community, we must support one another and if this is what we can do to support, then we will do it with all our might,” Godwin stated.

In cities where the coronavirus is spreading rapidly, many hospitals are finding their supply of face shields are insufficient to meet the demand.

The team at PHCC’s FabLab hopes to ensure local healthcare providers are fully equipped with these essentials before the need arises.

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