Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

By Victoria Fowler
Gazette Reporter 

3D printed face shields continue to be delivered within the county


April 30, 2020

A completed face shield made by The McGregor Company. The top headband and bottom support piece are 3D printed.

COLFAX – At the beginning of April The McGregor Company began a collaborative effort with the Whitman County Library and Colfax School District to 3D print face shields to donate to Whitman Hospital and Medical Center.

At the time, only 75 face shields were needed to allow all of the staff and any community partners at Whitman Hospital and Medical Center to have an issued face shield.

Since then 128 face shields have been made with deliveries to WHMC, including its satellite clinics in the county, Ladow Court Assisted Living in Garfield, Community Pride Assisted Living in St. John and the Palouse Volunteer Fire Department.

Christian Hille, engineer and manager of the Plant Nutrient Center for The McGregor Company and leading the 3D printing project, said for completed face shields, The McGregor Company provides the headband, clear shield and bottom support for the shields.

From the original design, WHMC developed the adaptation of a soft-strap material that is attached to the headband with a velcro strip.

Along with face shields, The McGregor Company is producing face masks, with two 3D printed components, the mask and the press fit rim.

"The newest item being printed are face masks," Hille said. He said The McGregor Company design modification is a rectangle, front press fit attaching the fabric to the mask via the rim.

Hille added that other versions of this he has seen are round or elliptical shapes for the fabric. The rectangle shape that is apart of The McGregor Company modification allows for easier cutting of the fabric.

"This design still has to be refined as there are slight blemishes in an area of the 3D print," Hille said.

For the face masks that are now being made, there are five components. Two of these components are 3D printed, the mask and the press fit rim. Other components include the fabric, the seal to the user's face, which is made with a strip of rubber household window seal and the elastic band which wraps around the user's head to secure the facial seal.


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