Maakbaar Leuven Prints Face Shields

5/05/2020: Nearly two months ago, a group of Maakbaar Leuven volunteers launched themselves into the production of 3-D printed face shields for health-care workers. Joris Derwael, the driving force behind our 3D-printing work group, joined forces with partner organisation KU Leuven-Fablab to produce these vital face shields. One-hundred and ten face shields have been printed since April 10, we are now waiting for the next delivery of plastic material.

When the Corona Crisis hit, it soon became clear that there wasn’t enough appropriate protective equipment. Especially surgical masks and face protection or face shields. It wasn’t long before we looked to the 3D work group, but after a few prints on a small scale this group seemed to run out of filament, the plastic raw material needed to produce the frames for face shields. Even the PET shields, the transparent screens, were difficult to come by.

Joris paid KULeuven’s Fablab a visit. Joris: ‘I actually went to Fablab to take a look at their face shield production and saw masses of leftover filament. Fablab cannot use these filament remains because it works on a large scale and so isn’t always able to use up leftover material.’ 

In an instant, it was all perfectly clear to Joris: the volunteers in his work group could certainly take that on seeing as they had only one printer and printed only one frame at a time. This is how Fablab and the 3DP work started their collaboration. Joris: ‘It was a case of two birds with one stone: nothing would be wasted and the volunteers could continue printing.’ In this way, two frames could be printed from each batch of surplus. In optimal conditions, printing a frame takes three hours.

After the frames are produced in the homes of the volunteers, they are sent on to Fablab where each is fitted with a PET shield and the buyers then attach the elastic. 

The advantage of these face protectors is that they can continue being used. Once disinfected, they are ready for the next shift. This shows once more how Maakbaar Leuven adds value when the right people and organisations are brought together.’ 


Het voordeel van deze gezichtsbeschermers is dat ze blijvend kunnen gebruik worden. Na te zijn ontsmet zijn ze klaar voor de volgende shift. Dit is nogmaals het bewijs hoe Maakbaar Leuven een meerwaarde kan betekenen door de juiste mensen en organisaties bij elkaar te brengen”.