Renton Prep Student 3D-Prints Face Shields for Hospitals
May 13, 2020

Renton Prep Student 3D-Prints Face Shields for Hospitals

As COVID-19 government restrictions went in place across Washington and many hospitals became overwhelmed with patients, Renton Prep ninth-grader Alden Johnson thought of a way he could help. With a 3D printer and printing materials, Johnson found that he could make face shields and send them to local hospitals to help.

At 40 minutes each to produce, Johnson was able to package dozens of shields and ship them to places that need them most. He adapted his process quickly to cut production time in half and send out more face shields.

We asked Johnson a few questions about his 3D printing and how he created the shields.

Q&A with Alden Johnson

3D-printed face shields

What was your goal with this project?

Johnson: Our goal was to help as many people out as possible with the resources we had.

Why did you decide to make face shields?

Johnson: I decided to make the face shields when I saw how bad it had gotten and that I had the resources to help.

How did you make the shields?

Johnson: I used a 3D printer and some filament to make the masks, then I put clear plastic binder dividers in and some elastic bands to hold it up.

How did you start the process?

Johnson: I started by printing one face shield out to see what I should change, the first one took 2 hours to print but with some iteration, I was able to speed up the printer to 40 minutes a shield.
I eventually got it so the printer waited 15 minutes after the print was complete to let the face shield unstick from the build surface, then it pushes it off with the printer head. This allowed me to not need to take the print off and start a new one every time one was made, as that was causing the prints per day to be around five.

With the adjustments, we were able to print out 12 in a day on our best day. We quickly realized that if this was going to help hospitals we were going to need to get them out to them ASAP. Once supply for the masks and face shields starts speeding up from companies that specialize in making medical equipment, the hospitals would have no more need for our face shields.

3D printingWho supported you in developing the design/specifications?

Johnson: I did not personally design it as I knew that masks designed specifically for the task of mass manufacturing masks for healthcare workers would be much better. [The mass-manufactured design] checks off all the boxes required by healthcare professionals.

What is your plan for the face shields after production?

Johnson: We decided to give the face shields to healthcare workers as they are almost guaranteed to come in contact with someone with the coronavirus. Someone going to the grocery store isn’t guaranteed to come in contact with someone that has the coronavirus.

The hospitals we donated to are Harbor View Hospital, Valley Medical Center, and Swedish Hospital. We also donated to The Sophia Way homeless shelter as they are not going to be able to get the supplies as fast as hospitals.

Face Shields

Renton Prep Students Making an Impact

Renton Prep Christian School provides a great environment for students to learn what it truly means to be an initiator. We are proud of our technology-based education that gives students the resources to improve our future. Our students learn skills that will follow them in the workforce and beyond.

Contact us today to learn more about how we integrate technology into our education.