By BRAD SMITH, Lincoln County Communications Director
Stanford Elementary School teacher Chris Woolums has been working from home during the COVID- 19 pandemic, like most of the school staff. However, his work has not been all NTI work. He’s also been working on making face shields and masks using the school’s 3D printers.
Woolums recently completed 60 face shields and is donating them to the Lincoln County Health Department.
Soon after the schools were closed to in person teaching due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Woolums decided to use two of the printers and start working on a beneficial design. He said he tried many designs until he finally found one that worked well with his equipment. The design he settled on using came from the printer’s company in the Czech Republic.
“3D groups from all over the world are designing their own to try to help meet the demand,” Woolums said.
The face shields consist of a headband, made by the 3D printer, and a laminate pouch for the actual clear shield.
“The design of this particular face shield allows you to use a three-hole punch on the laminate, then apply the laminate to the three notches that are part of the headband. It’s a very practical design,” said Woolums.
Once completed, the headband, laminate face shield and rubber bands are placed into a bag to form a face shield kit. Woolums also included a mask extender in each kit. The extender fits behind the head of a medical professional to make wearing the mask more comfortable.
“I’m sure you’ve all seen doctors and nurses whose faces and ears that have been cut and bruised from the elastic mask they are having to wear for entire shifts. These extenders will hopefully help with that issue,” said Woolums.
Woolums is also working on a face mask, to go with the included extender, but he’s not produced a large quantity of them yet because he’s waiting on feedback from local doctors before printing them and because of the shortage of elastic.
“It’s a reusable design that will be able to be cleaned with soap, water and disinfectant agents,” Woolums said.
The 60 completed face shields will be donated to the Lincoln County Health Department so they can disburse them as needed to local professionals and first responders.
Woolums acknowledged the face shields weren’t a replacement for the real items but said, “I’m sure they are better than nothing at all or some of the other alternatives professionals are having to use.”