Stepping up in the fight against COVID-19, the Agilent site in Ankeny, Iowa, began a program of 3D-printing face shields for the state's Department of Human Services to distribute as needed. One of the first recipients was the Glenwood Resource Center, a facility that cares for intellectually disabled adults who are medically fragile.
With extra 3D printing resources available, Agilent reached out locally to identify needs. A nurse practitioner at Glenwood heard about the offer and passed the information along to Jami Sayers, a coordinator in Glenwood's nursing unit.
Agilent personnel immediately set to work manufacturing face shields using a design that Stratasys shares on its website. Each shield consists of a clear acrylic square attached to a plastic frame that fits around the head. The Ankeny site can print 24 frames per day using ABS-M30 material, and then attach them to separately sourced acrylic squares. To speed assembly, Agilent partnered with Landmark Machine Co. in nearby Huxley, Iowa, to improve the shape and feel of the shields.
"This has meant a lot to our facility," said Jami Sayers. "Any PPE (personal protective equipment) we can get helps us protect them and ourselves during this time. Thank you for helping to make a difference!"
The Ankeny site, which houses two Stratasys FORTUS 3D printers, is also working with local officials to distribute face shields to other facilities, including hospitals and clinics across Iowa. The site plans to produce 100–120 face shields every week for the foreseeable future. Agilent joins a coalition of companies and universities assembled by Stratasys Ltd. to produce face shields leveraging 3D printers. More than 150 organizations are now involved.