University of Memphis students, staff 3D-print face shields for hospital shortages

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Students and staff at the University of Memphis are using their skills to create face shields for hospital staff working on the front lines of COVID-19.

So far they have already delivered more than 2,000 face shields to Tennessee hospitals, as many across the nation are seeing a shortage of hospital materials.

Ebrahim Asadi, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, along with his students and staff are creating frames for face shields in their Metal Additive Manufacturing Lab.

“It’s an incredible feeling for us,” Asadi said. “It touches us personally.”

Each frame they make is reusable.

When hospitals receive the 3D printed frames, they also get the other materials needed for a complete shield.

They work creating the frames, which is done on a volunteer basis.

Asadi said the university has supplied the other needed materials. 

He said the response from those wanting to help has been overwhelming. Students work two at a time in separate labs and produce about 20 face shields a day.

So far Asadi’s team has delivered 135 3D-printed face shield frames, which is equivalent to more than 2,000 face shields. 

He delivered 52 frames to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital last week.

Le Bonheur has enough supplies for staff, but looking ahead, they’re staying proactive.

He said providing help to the public during the COVID-19 pandemic reaps a reward far beyond the classroom.

“This is incredible for them; for me too, to be honest with you, to be able to directly help the society,” Asadi said.

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