Face Shield 3D Printing 101

Amanda Mellor, Administrative Clerk, Octavia Lab,
Octavia Lab's 3D printers making face shields
Octavia Lab's 3D printers making face shields

Over this past month, the Octavia Lab has transformed itself from a hobbyist makerspace to a light manufacturing powerhouse to help produce PPE (personal protective equipment) face shields for the local medical community.

woman wearing a face shield
Octavia Lab staff member (Lucia Odono) wearing completed face shield

Do you want to be a part of our effort? If you have a 3D printer with a plate size of 9”x7” or larger, spools of PLA (polylactic acid) filament, time during this Safer at Home order to devote to 3D printing, and you want to help then you’re in luck!

3d printed face shield
Completed face shield with 3D printed visor, PETG plastic shielding, and elastic band

Here’s how you can help the Octavia Lab get PPE to the local medical community:

  • Send us an email at octavialab@lapl.org letting us know that you are interested in 3D printing for the Lab and donating to us what you print.
  • We will email back a Google Form to fill out in order to find what type of printer you have and what kind of filament you use. We will share a folder containing STL files of the face shield component that fits along the forehead:
  • There are different versions of the file to choose from, depending on the size of your 3D printer and your personal comfort with 3D printing. For example, you can choose to print one file at a time or print a stacked file.

What does stacked mean? To stack a file means that several copies of a single file are stacked on top of each other in order to maximize the amount of files printed. These files take longer and require more filament so you should take that into consideration.

There are stacked files to print 4, 7, or even 12 face shield components at a time!

3D printer in action
3D Printer (Makerbot) printing stacked face shield files

If this sounds like something you are interested in helping with, please send an email to octavialab@lapl.org. Thanks and stay healthy!