Resources for Sewing and 3D Printing for Healthcare Workers

Around Chicago—and the country—sewing machines, three-hole punches, 3D printers and laser cutters are running to make face shields, fabric masks and other accessories to protect healthcare and essential workers. 

Hospitals and institutions like the National Institutes of Health are collaborating with makers. Makers and providers in need of supplies are being matched through Illinois PPE, Deaconess and other initiatives. Items made by individuals staying at home are sanitized or washed, then delivered with no contact, then sanitized again upon arrival at a provider. UChicago Medicine offers detailed information on additional ways to help. 

Here's a roundup of the ways people are helping, and a sample of files in production with the reminder that files are updated often, so check the notes when you can.

WBEZ's Kate McGee interviewed problem solvers from vaccine researchers to makers. Makezine covers different approaches makers are taking to address the gap in protective gear and related items. For a thorough discussion on how libraries are participating, check out RAILS Online Roundtable: 3D Printing for the Health Field & Libraries.

So what are makers contributing?

  • DIY Minimal Sew Mask: a user-friendly design for a washable fabric mask
  • Swedish Shield: This shield has arrived in hospitals beyond Swedish Covenant.
  • Chicago Face Shield: a compact print for small 3D print beds (140 mm x 140 mm)
  • Solin Flat Pack: a face shield that can be assembled without 3D printed parts and cut on laser or with electronic cutter
  • Bias tape maker: 3D print a tool to turn strips of fabric into piping or binding
  • Mask extenders: a 3D print to connect a mask without looping around the ears
  • Brim Shield: Attach a transparency to a baseball cap with these pegs to create a face shield.
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