O.C. Steps Up: Donating 3D-Printed Personal Protective Equipment To Healthcare Workers

To help us stay positive during these challenging times of mostly bad news, we’re sharing uplifting stories happening right here in Orange County. Be sure to check out the May issue of Orange Coast for many such profiles; in the meantime, we offer a few tidbits to make you happy now. Check our homepage regularly for O.C. Steps Up—anecdotes about your neighbors doing whatever they can to lift the community.

In an effort to support healthcare workers on the frontlines, students and faculty from Chapman University’s engineering and science and technology departments are using 3D printers to produce face shields.

With individual 3D-printing stations set up at home and following strict safety measures, Chapman students and staff have been producing several hundred face shields per week and have donated more than 1,000 shields to hospitals in Southern California and nationwide.

Chapman University computer science and graphic design student Aubrey Fernando

“When I enrolled in the 3D printing class, I thought we were just going to make a lot of cool things and learn how to use 3D printers,” said Aubrey Fernando, computer science and graphic design student at Chapman University. “I knew that 3D printers could make a huge impact in the world but I didn’t think we were going to be the ones to be able to make a difference in our own community. I think it’s such a privilege to be able to take such an immersive course like this and it only makes sense to use our skills to give back and potentially save lives. Printing these shields is humbling and empowering because it reminds me of what we’re capable of doing and that what we’re learning in class could really make a difference.”


MatterHackers, a Lake Forest-based company specializing in industrial-grade 3D printers, is helping distribute the personal protective equipment (PPE) to local hospitals. MatterHackers has delivered over 15,000 3D-printed PPE and served over 50 hospitals.

If you have 3D printing equipment and would like to help or are a healthcare worker in need of protective equipment, visit MatterHackers’ Maker Response Hub at matterhackers.com/covid-19.

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