Boeing Delivers 3D Printed Face Shields to Healthcare Professionals
Solvay provided the clear film for the face shields whereas Trelleborg Sealing Solutions donated the elastic used for the adjustable headband.
Face shield production and donations are part of a larger Boeing effort to leverage company and employee resources to aid with COVID-19 recovery and relief efforts.
On April 10, Boeing delivered the first set of 3D printed face shields to support healthcare professionals working to stop the spread of COVID-19. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) accepted the initial shipment of 2,300 face shields on April 10. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will deliver the shields to the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, Texas, which has been established as an alternate care site to treat patients with COVID-19.
Boeing is set to produce thousands more face shields per week, gradually increasing production output to meet the growing need for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in the U.S.
Solvay, a long-time Boeing supplier, provided the clear film for the face shields. Another supplier, Trelleborg Sealing Solutions, donated the elastic used for the adjustable headband.
Boeing approached Trelleborg at the end of March 2020, to manufacture and supply an elastomer strap needed for the adjustable headband of 3D printed face shields.
The Trelleborg Sealing Solutions dedicated aerospace facility in Northborough, Mass., supported a 48-hour turnaround of prototypes using methodologies including 3D printing. The following week, the site was able to ramp up production to 5000 straps per week.
Quinn Collett, Air Frame Manager, Trelleborg Sealing Solutions Aerospace, says: “In these unprecedented times, it’s imperative everyone plays a role that might not be in line with the one they are used to. We were fortunate to receive the call from Boeing to support this effort and leverage Trelleborg’s expertise to quickly address the need.”
Boeing plans to produce face shields using its additive manufacturing machines at various sites across the U.S. The elastomer straps provided are manufactured from aerospace grade silicone. After a few fit trials, Boeing and Trelleborg were able to lock in the final released design.
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