Help from the 3D Printer

The Faculty of Engineering with the Department of Microsystems Engineering is participating in an initiative that produces face shields for medical professionals.



The initiative "Techies vs. Corona" uses 3D printers from the University of Freiburg to produce face shields. Photo: Michal Rössler

In times of the corona pandemic, protective clothing is in short supply in hospitals, retirement homes and doctors' practice. A team of Freiburg researchers has joined forces to provide help: They use 3D printers from the University of Freiburg to produce face shields for institutions that have close contact with patients. Dr. Severin Vierrath and Dr. Matthias Breitwieser from the Department of Microsystems Engineering - IMTEK at the University of Freiburg coordinate the initiative “Techies vs. Corona”. From IMTEK are the Labs of MEMS Applications, Design of Microsystems and Micro and Materials Mechanics involved in the implementation.

In just a few days, the initiative has delivered a total of 140 shields to the St. Josef Hospital in Freiburg, medical services and Freiburg medical practices. The team has already received more than 500 advance orders.

The printer can be used to produce the bands for the shields that enclose the wearer's head. The visor itself is made of PET foil, which is cut into shape with a laser cutter. The idea for this production method came from a Czech manufacturer of 3D printers. Prof. Dr. Benedikt Spies, Medical Director of the Department of Dental Prosthetics at the Freiburg University Medical Center, took up the concept and, after initial tests, asked for help with production.

This was the starting point for the formation of the initiative in Freiburg. "We are now coordinating a consortium of more than 100 Freiburg researchers from several Fraunhofer Institutes, several faculties of the University of Freiburg, the 'FREILab', some technically experienced private individuals and the Freiburg members of the 'makervsvirus' network," said Vierrath. Together, the initiative has more than 80 printers and several laser cutters.

Medical institutions in Freiburg and the surrounding area with an urgent need for face shields can submit their requests on the consortium's homepage.


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