Face shields are now available for all teachers and staff in the Davenport Community School District, thanks to a teacher at the city’s West High School.
Greg Smith teaches Industrial Technology and says it all started when the superintendent asked him to make a few face shields for staff because of the pandemic.
With a 3-D printer, he initially made a hundred, but needed to make more much faster, so he switched to a laser cutter.
“We could print approximately five every four hours and so that would take a really long time to do 2,000 of them,” Smith says. “We had to come up with an idea to produce them a different way.”
Using the laser cutter, it took just three-and-a-half minutes to produce each shield. Materials include plastic, plywood, super glue, elastic straps, and transparencies from overhead projectors.
“You can buy various types of face shields and you can get some fairly cheap and you can get some that are more durable,” Smith says. “This is kind of a durable frame replace-able shield that would be a fraction of the cost of what you’d have to pay for something you would buy like at Lowe’s or Menards or something like that.”
Smith says commercial face shields cost about 11-dollars each, while his laser cut shields cost about two bucks a piece, while those made with the 3-D printer are about seven dollars each.
By Herb Trix, WVIK, Rock Island