Lafayette Ivy Tech leading state on 3D printed face shield production

The fleet of 3D printers can make about 2,000 visors for the face shields per week. That's the most out of all Ivy Tech campuses.

Posted: May 13, 2020 6:59 PM
Updated: May 14, 2020 1:33 PM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Lafayette's Ivy Tech campus is contributing to a statewide effort to 3D print face shields for coronavirus frontline workers. They've been producing face shields since around the beginning of April.

"It's kind of like a second job for me," said Joshua Nelson, who is Program Director for Design Technology and an assistant professor at Ivy Tech in Lafayette by day, and manages a fleet of 3D printers by night.

"The main thing in the lab we've been doing is printing parts for visors for face shields," he said. "These visors protect doctors and nurses and other health care workers and first responders from splatter."

Eleven Ivy Tech campuses are 3D printing shields that are being sent to Indiana hospitals, nursing homes, fire departments, medical clinics and health departments. The Lafayette campus leads the way on production and innovation.

"Our facility here in Lafayette can do about 2,000 per week at max production," he said.

Nelson and his team of lab assistants took manufacturer-made prints and were able to modify the design to reduce production time.

"The original file had a logo and brim on it and we cut down those for a couple of reasons just to reduce the time," he said.

Once they nailed down the design, they sent it to the other Ivy Tech campuses across the state. It takes 12 hours for a stack of seven to be made on the small 3D printers and each stack has to be separated by hand

"Then we bag them up with the other pieces, there's the band that goes around your forehead, the clear plastic shield in front of your face and there's a band that holds it all together," he said.

Then it's shipped off to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway where the Indiana National Guard distributes them. Nelson said it's great for them to live out the "community" part of "community college."

"Sometimes we work long hours and if I think about oh, we are here late at night or something, I remember the doctors and nurses who are in much greater risk than we are working much longer hours and that make it all worthwhile," he said.

Nelson said they are also making extra face shields to give to students when they return to campus. They are also sending the shields directly to local hospitals, like Logansport Memorial Hospital.

West Lafayette
Clear
65° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 65°
Kokomo
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 59°
Rensselaer
Clear
55° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 55°
Fowler
Clear
65° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 65°
Williamsport
Partly Cloudy
63° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 63°
Crawfordsville
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 59°
Frankfort
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 59°
Delphi
Clear
58° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 58°
Monticello
Clear
58° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 58°
Logansport
Clear
57° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 57°
Clear and Chilly Wednesday, Rain Thursday
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 724214

Reported Deaths: 13363
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion989071736
Lake53172962
Allen40223675
Hamilton35354408
St. Joseph35270550
Elkhart28228437
Tippecanoe22297217
Vanderburgh22231396
Porter18560304
Johnson17832376
Hendricks17098313
Clark12897191
Madison12519339
Vigo12379244
Monroe11811168
LaPorte11691210
Delaware10571185
Howard9823215
Kosciusko9347117
Hancock8204139
Bartholomew8036155
Warrick7754155
Floyd7630176
Wayne7002198
Grant6986174
Boone6652101
Morgan6529139
Dubois6139117
Marshall5954111
Dearborn577177
Cass5769105
Henry5671102
Noble555783
Jackson499672
Shelby488196
Lawrence4470120
Gibson433791
Harrison432972
Clinton426353
DeKalb423284
Montgomery423088
Whitley392739
Huntington386380
Steuben381057
Miami379165
Knox370990
Jasper361347
Putnam357760
Wabash352478
Adams340354
Ripley338370
Jefferson328481
White312254
Daviess294399
Wells290281
Decatur282992
Fayette278362
Greene276085
Posey270733
Scott264453
LaGrange263870
Clay258945
Randolph239581
Washington239131
Spencer230431
Jennings228848
Starke213252
Fountain211846
Sullivan210442
Owen195856
Fulton194240
Jay190429
Carroll187820
Perry182537
Orange181854
Rush172625
Vermillion167643
Franklin167235
Tipton161945
Parke145416
Blackford134332
Pike132634
Pulaski115945
Newton106734
Brown101441
Crawford99014
Benton98114
Martin87415
Warren80515
Switzerland7808
Union70610
Ohio56211
Unassigned0413

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events