NIH-approved 3D printable face shields

The National Institute of Heath (NIH) has approved a variation of the Prusa RC2 face shield for use by hospital staff:


Uses standard 3-hole punch for holes. The face shield can be cut from PETG on a laser, or transparency film or report covers can be used.

2 will fit on a Prusa-sized bed and print without support (30% infill recommended). I can print 2 in about 9 hours on my Prusa I3 MK3 so the thru-put is pretty poor. This is due to the top shield which provides additional protection from aerosol droplets.

I’d recommend adding this 2nd part as bottom reinforcement if the plastic being used for the shield is thin (I modded this from another design):

One of these, with bottom support and printing overhead uses about 55 grams of plastic. A one kg spool of plastic would yield 18 shields in 81+ hours of print time. About 2.5 weeks more or less continuous printing to make 100. Add a 100-count pack of these 8 mil sheets from Amazon (NIH recommends 2-10 mil), and the cost would be:

($16.50 X 5 for the filament + $15.37 for the shields) =$97.87

$97.87/90 = $1.09 per mask. I used 90 as the yield as you can’t quite print 100 from 5 spools.


  • Clinicians and caregivers who have worn the device on service recommend the following additions to the headband to improve comfort: add a wrap of foam tape or “chest tube foam tape”, tape layers of gauze or a folded paper towel on the headband; dispose as necessary
  • Before hole-punching, add tape (duct tape, medical cloth tape, etc) to reinforce the holes at top of the transparency sheet during repeat use and washings. Remove and replace tape between patients as necessary.

I know a couple of non-DMS members who would be interested in helping print things, who’s leading the charge of gathering and distributing the prints? I can put them in contact with that person and add 3 or 4 printers to the mix.

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@talkers and @Kevin are working at another makerspace on a laser-cut design, I believe they have a distribution channel set up.

I’m making these myself and sending them to Austin (where a friend of mine is a nurse - trying to support him/his team specifically). If you have a nursing friend in your network, I recommend reaching out to them personally…they would thank you for it.


I would thinke these 2 would be best… they would also be of help in keeping sweat from running down your forehead.

If you want me to put them in touch with you shoot me your cell in a PM and I’ll have them text you. Also, if you start to run out of filament I’ve got a couple rolls of 1.75mm Inland ABS from microcenter.

Thank you for posting this. I printed two last night and I think this is going to work better for me than the prusa designs. Thanks again.

Just to throw another design into the mix, my robotics team is producing the following design for local ‘clients’
Slightly quicker to print, but not as flexible around the head fit.

Here is the school page for their effort.
Note, the shield in the picture is not actually the one we are producing :slight_smile:

Update: switching from 0.2mm to 0.3mm layer height has dropped the print time from 9+ hours to 5.5 hours per pair, and the quality still looks fine.

I have already printed 40ish of the thinner model. The first four I sent last week to my nursing friend in Austin for testing/ feedback were “snatched up” by the staff there, and he has made a request for more of those and at least 30 of the NIH design. Tomorrow I’ll be shipping off 40 of the the thinner style, 16+ of the new style (depending on how printing goes), lower stiffeners for all of those, and 200 report covers as screens.

FWIW, these report covers from Amazon are 8 mil thick (within the 2-10 mil recommendation from NIH) so they are stiffer, and at less than $0.16 apiece they are half the price of the transparency films I started with.


@PearceDunlap would these work for ours that we are printing at polyprinter? If so l will order some.

As far as I know they should work if we can slam them into a 3 hole punch. I’m printing the NIH version since that’s what the hospital asked for.

The 20 min version Ed has is still waiting for some feedback


Fantastic, they are ordered and will be delivered on the 4th