The Superior Express -

Nelson Library joins the COVID-19 battle; building face shields


Saturday the Nelson Library, along with businesses and groups from five cities throughout southeastern Nebraska, was asked to become a part of the national COVID-19 fight. The six locations all have one thing in common, a 3D printer. They were asked to create two parts of face shields needed by the University of Nebraska Medical Center and Bryan hospitals.

“We have an immediate need for as many face shields as possible. We’re expecting parts from an injection molder soon but we need parts sooner. We’re looking for as many parts as we can get 3D printed until approximately Thursday when the molder can catch up,” stated Max Wheeler, shop instructional technician at Nebraska Innovation Studio in Lincoln where the face shields will be assembled. An estimated 43 parts can be built daily by the 3-D printers working on this project.

The Nelson Library received the needed two files Saturday afternoon, via email, and has been keeping the 3D printer running 24/7 since.

The two parts, a faceshield top and a faceshield frame, have to be made separately because of their size. The frame takes approximately 2 hours and 26 minutes to complete and the top 90 minutes to build. With some finagling, the library staff has been able to get two tops on the plate to build in 2 hours and 50 minutes thus saving 10 minutes when compared to printing them one at a time.

By Monday morning, six faceshield frames and 13 tops had been built. The library’s goal is to have 30 sets built by 3:30 this afternoon (Thursday) when they will be boxed and driven to the Innovation Studio in Lincoln to be assembled.


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