Freshman Louie Beardell is leveraging his passion and expertise in 3D design to help produce urgently-needed protective face shields for local healthcare professionals, who are treating patients impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. He recently updated his design and is now producing face shields that are approved by the National Institutes of Health.
Louie launched the ambitious project over Spring Break. He told The Philadelphia Inquirer, "I started making the shields over Spring Break when I was bored, just doing things around the house, I wanted to kind of do something to make a difference."
After finding designs online, Louie contacted EA to borrow the school's 3D printers. "They responded right away, and said of course we would love to help you. And now they provided me with 3D printers and materials," explained Louie.
The top and bottom pieces are made on the 3D printers and then connected to the plastic protective face shield. "The head band is actually the most important part because you can adjust it to fit anybody's head," said Louie. After initially hand cutting the face shields, a company started providing them for free. "It kind of speeds everything up so it's even more of an automative process."
Louie hopes to make and donate 1,000 masks to Philadelphia-area hospitals. "But I don't know if we are going to get the materials to do that. Everybody around the world is trying to make these and buying up all of the supplies." On Friday, April 3, Louie was able to secure delivery of 200 plastic sheets to continue making the shields.
His effort has received coverage from newspapers all over the world, including The Korean Times.
"You can have something that you are making and you can actually put it out there in the world, and this is a way to do that and actually help some people," said Louie.
The protective face shields have been distributed to Chestnut Hill Hospital, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Einstein Medical Center, and Geisinger.
Next on the list- Main Line Health, Paoli Hospital, Pennsylvania Hospital, and The University of Pennsylvania.