May 6, 2020
When UL employee and IT Technical Lead Ed Miller learned that medical staff and frontline workers in his community faced a shortage of face shields and other personal protection equipment (PPE), he didn’t hesitate to act.
At home, Miller owned a Prusa i3 MK2S 3D printer. Having learned that it was possible to use his printer to print PPE, he downloaded the instructions for printing face shields provided by the National Institute of Health.
"The shields themselves are incredibly simple," Miller said. "They consist of two parts: a visor and a shield. The visor is the 3D printed part and the shield is a piece of overhead projector transparency film."
Taking action inspires others
After Miller was interviewed by his local newspaper about his efforts, his actions inspired others in his community of Skowhegan, ME to connect with him to donate their time, talents and money to the effort.
“We now have 3 printers running, and we're producing around 75 shields per day. We've got dedicated assemblers, dedicated delivery people, and dedicated "outside sales" people contacting facilities to see who can use the shields,” said Miller. “At full tilt, we'll be consuming roughly $500 in materials per week. With donations thus far we have another month or so that we're funded.”
Of course, Miller is hopeful that the need to produce these face shields will subside before the money and materials run out. So far, his team of volunteers has been able to donate shields to the Wilton Police Department and the Redington-Fairview General Hospital in Maine.
Working for a safer world
Miller and all the other volunteers print the face shields in their personal time, still working full-time jobs. It’s a lot of effort to print the face shields safely, but they take great care to clean every surface, practice handwashing and wear their own PPE while printing in order to avoid any possible contamination.
Ed Miller is just one example of the many ways our UL employees around the globe are applying their human capital and unique capabilities to help out those in need, going above and beyond to share strength. Miller truly lives UL’s mission of working for a safer world.