“I am amazed that this face shield project has gone from a small initiative in my home office to a huge effort by a group of generous and talented volunteers, starting in Georgia, reaching up to New York, and even making its way down to Brazil. Our impact is global.” - David Voyles
While working remotely at home in mid-March, David Voyles, a staff engineer at the Shaw Innovation Center & MakerSpace in Dalton, Ga., was asked if Shaw had the capability to create N95 masks for the local medical community. Fortunately, he had borrowed a 3D printer from the MakerSpace just in case his stay at home was longer than expected. (Spoiler alert: it was. For all of us!) After spending a weekend on a N95 design, he determined that a face shield made more sense, since they are more universal, can prolong the life of N95 masks, and (hopefully) easier to produce.
Working with freely available designs sourced from the internet, David and a growing team of eager and curious engineers from around the company, refined and optimized their designs multiple times, landing on design featuring a printable headband and a shield made from transparencies. Once Shaw’s 3D printers were combined with others from the local community, the MakerSpace could produce 500 shields a day!
Several weeks later, this team has now printed and donated more than 15,000 face shields.
“I heard about what David and the team were doing at the MakerSpace,” said Coty Pastene, a software engineer. “I work remotely from New York. My wife is a nurse practitioner in an ICU and hearing the stories of dwindling supplies made me want to help. David shared the shield design, and I borrowed a 3D printer from my local school district.”
After Coty printed seven of her own shields, she realized that she needed more help to really make an impact. She began networking in my community, building a team of 57 volunteers that included students, professors, and DIY'ers.
Coty’s grass roots army of dedicated printers has produced more than 6,000 face shields in April. “Seeing Shaw get a head start on addressing needs in the medical community was invigorating, and motivated me to replicate the efforts of the Georgia team here in New York.”
Talita Cervone is an account manager for Shaw Contract, working in São Paulo, Brazil. The need for personal protective equipment is just as necessary in South America as it is in the United States. Talita worked with her friends to develop a face shield design. Their initial goal was to create 1,000 shields but they’ve already surpassed the 5,000 mark.
“From a project that began so humbly, it's incredible that Shaw has supported our team in devoting company time and monetary resources to work on something that is directly impacting the community at such a high level,” says David Voyles. “This has become a huge effort by a group of generous and talented volunteers, starting in Georgia, reaching up to New York, and even making its way down to Brazil. Our impact is global.”
He adds, “It has turned into the greatest and most impactful project I have ever been blessed to work on at Shaw!”