Printer at ISU making a face shield. (ISU photo)

Eight Iowa State University students were invited back to the closed campus to churn out plastic face shields for health care workers.

They’re using 3-D printers in the computation and construction lab that Iowa State architecture professor Shelby Doyle oversees.

“If there’s a silver lining to this, it’s that we have a moment where all of this research and work that we do that sometimes doesn’t have an immediate application, has an application right now,” she says.

Anna Lukens, one of the students employed to work on the project, is in her final semester as an architecture undergraduate.

“The opportunity to get to do something that is applicable to the real world in my college career has just been an absolute honor,” she says. “And this has been really interesting research and I feel like we’re going to be able to actually help some people with it.”

The first 300 face shields made in the lab were shipped out yesterday. Alliant Energy has provided money and logistical help. The lab is not approved to produce medical equipment, so the shields are to be used by health care workers who are not treating COVID-19 patients.

(By Iowa Public Radio’s Amy Mayer)