• 41°

Madison Public Library produces face shields with 3D printing

MADISON – To relieve the urgent need facing health care workers, Madison Public Library used 21st-century technology to produce face shields needed to examine patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The purpose of the public library is to identify needs in the community and work to help meet those needs. I see this project as an extension of that purpose,” Nora Bahr said. Bahr works as Makerspace Librarian for Madison Public Library.

“When the call went out for 3D printers in the area, the library was able to go to action immediately. We already had the equipment and expertise … we’re just applying them in an innovative way,” Bahr said.

Printing at the Madison library ran non-stop from March 28 through April 15. “In that time, we produced 90 face shields. This includes the headband portion of the shield and the bottom support. The clear plastic and elastic (and a few extra bottom supports) were provided by the organizers of the project,” Bahr said.

“I was excited to partner with Smarter Every Day on this project. They had a clean plan for mobilizing people with 3D printers across Huntsville and distributing the completed headbands to area hospitals,” Bahr said. “On our first delivery day, I was told we were in the top 10 percent of makers!”

Setup for making the shields was a challenge, but, once printing was up and running, the process was easy. Bahr received approval to take the 3D printers from the library to her home and avoid continually going to the empty library.

Bahr and her husband set up a 3D printing station on their kitchen table. She had the 3D file that the hospital approved and required for printing. “I had to find a combination of settings that would print quickly but still have the strength to do its job,” Bahr said.

Luckily, she found a balance after a few test runs. “I used a copy of the file that would allow me to print a pile of four headbands at a time and then cut them apart when they finished printing. These would take a little over eight hours to print so I started them before bed and took them off the printer when I woke up in the morning. We were truly printing around the clock,” Bahr said.

Bahr also had to inspect each headband as it came off the printer, clean up or sand any loose plastic and support materials, and disinfect the headbands in a bleach solution before delivery.

Currently, she is not printing face shields. On April 13, she was notified that the organization had met the need for face shields in North Alabama and we could stop printing for now. “I delivered the remainder of the shields I’d printed. The printers are sitting quiet for the moment, and it’s nice to have a little silence. They are not loud, but it was strange having them running in the background 24/7,” Bahr said.

If the need arises, Bahr and library employees can resume printing at any time.

“We are very lucky to have such a high tech and innovative library in Madison and our community to back us. I hope we can continue to serve that community in any way possible, both during these trying times and in the future,” Bahr said.

Events

Orion Amphitheater kicks off its third concert season tonight

James Clemens High School

James Clemens HOSA overshadows conference competitors

Harvest

It’s Spring! Plant sale returns to Huntsville Botanical Garden

Bob Jones High School

Bob Jones AFJROTC aces first try at obstacle course

Discovery Middle School

Clifton, Francois earn grants to enhance study of German

Bob Jones High School

Fantasy Playhouse summer camps to open in Madison

Discovery Middle School

Hogan Family YMCA to celebrate Healthy Kids Day

Bob Jones High School

Students in grades 3-5 to compete in Bob Jones Science Challenge

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

James Clemens Football Hosting Annual Mattress Sale

James Clemens High School

James Clemens baseball hot at the right time

Discovery Middle School

Register for Summer Spotlight Theatre Camp at James Clemens

Bob Jones High School

Bob Jones hails as section’s top team at Scholastic Chess Championship

James Clemens High School

James Clemens leads at Student Council Association conference

News

Messiah Lutheran’s Rummage Sale turns ‘discards into disaster relief’

Harvest

Madison Academy to present ‘High School Musical – One Act Edition’

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Remembering Tom Monroe- “Johnny Appleseed Of Disc Golf”

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Play Ball ! Trash Pandas Season Set To Open

Madison

City’s work session and special meeting postponed due to weather

Madison

Strong storms predicted for Tuesday; schools to dismiss early

Madison

MVP names Madison Visionary Award recipients

Bob Jones High School

Local Talent Shines In Alabama Baseball Victory At Toyota Field

Bob Jones High School

Bartlett selected as Executive Director of US Chess Federation

Madison

Mill Creek students shine in Elementary Science Olympiad

Madison

Facility dog Daryl comforts, ‘listens’ to children at Midtown elementary

x