CPL Staff Making Face Shields, Masks for Illinois PPE

Chicago Public Library staff are creating face shields and face coverings that play a critical role in limiting COVID-19 transmission. To date, we've donated over 700 pieces of personal protective equipment.

Working in CPL's Maker Lab has equipped our staff with 3D printing and sewing skills. Staff are using equipment borrowed from CPL, or their own equipment, to create face shield visors and cloth masks in the safety of their homes.

These visors and masks are donated to Illinois PPE, which sanitizes and delivers them. Illinois PPE has delivered thousands of pieces of PPE to hospitals, clinics, shelters and community organizations. Read more about Illinois PPE's efforts in Plan C: Chicago Shield: Part 1 – A Mesh Network for Making Face Shields from Make Zine.

Patterns for cloth masks like the no-sew mask, A-B Mask, the Deaconess and others have been shared widely. Using an assembly line-like process of templating, cutting, pinning and sewing in stages, staff create as many as four masks in an hour.

A face shield guards the eyes, nose and mouth from infectious sneezes and coughs; it is worn over another mask like the N95. 3D printing hobbyists around the world have been printing visors to make face shields for healthcare workers. The Chicago Shield is a local visor remix for smaller print beds modeled by Dan Meyer, and it combines features of the Swedish Shield and Prusa Shield.