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Napier Libraries joins the fight against Covid-19

Published: 2 April 2020

Last Updated: 14 April 2020

3D Photo 1

One of the 3D printed face shields produced by Napier Library.

With medical personal protective equipment being worth its weight in gold, Napier Libraries is doing its bit in the war on COVID-19 by 3D printing face shield frames.

Community Engagement Librarian Manager Holly Weston received a request to start printing the frames from 3D printer manufacturer MindKits.

“We thought it was a great initiative to get on board with,” says Holly. The library already had the materials, filament, software and printer, so all I needed to do was set it up at home and start printing. We’ve never been asked to print medical equipment before, but as face shields are in short supply, it made sense to help out in this small way.”

Each shield frame takes around three hours to produce, meaning Holly can make up to four each day.

“Once I have about 40 they’ll get couriered to MindKits for distribution around the country,” says Holly.

It goes without saying that Holly follows strict hygiene rules when working with the shield frames and 3D printer. She washes her hands with antibacterial soap, wears glasses, gloves and a facemask.  Finished products are kept separately and the printer is set up in a space that has been sterilised and kept away from main area of her house where no one else is. 

3D printing is a service Napier Library offers to the community.

“Our 3D printer is a great education tool,” says Holly. 

“We’ve been doing holiday programme workshops where kids can use software and learn how to create various objects such as bookmarks, bag tags and phone stands.”

Further information is on the library’s website, and the service is accessible to anyone – when not under lockdown of course. For members of the public the service costs 30c per gram so a shaped phone holder would be approximately $6.  

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