3D printing lab makes personal protective gear for Baptist Health

FIU’s Robotics and Digital Fabrication Lab is pitching in to address local shortages of urgently needed medical supplies during COVID-19.

The coronavirus pandemic has created an unprecedented need for face shields and other personal protective equipment for health care workers.

FIU 3D printed face shield

The lab is part of a university-wide effort to produce 3D printed face shields for Baptist Health South Florida. Its five printers have produced 250 face shields in one week.

The 3D printed face shields are worn with a facemask and can help block high velocity streams of blood and bodily fluids, protecting the wearer from being exposed to the coronavirus. 

Shahin Vassigh leads the lab. She is a researcher in the Institute of Environment’s CREST Center for Aquatic Chemistry and Environment. As an architecture professor in the College of Communication, Architecture, + The Arts, Vassigh is directing the lab’s latest efforts: making masks from surgical wraps that can be sewn together and developing a 3D printed ventilator prototype. 

Students, faculty and volunteers from the community are working together to ensure the lab has the capacity it needs to build and deliver the materials.

FIU delivered its first batch of 3D printed face shields to Baptist Health on March 27. Baptist Health has 11 hospitals and more than 150 urgent care centers and physician offices stretching from Monroe to Palm Beach counties.

The university is also utilizing 3D printers in CARTA’s Miami Beach Urban Studios and at the College of Engineering & Computing to manufacture the much-needed protective shields.

If you would like to support this effort, please consider donating to the Robotics and Digital Fabrication Lab on the institute’s website