Helping Alleviate the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Shortage with 3D Printing

Institution: Michigan Technological University
Funders (19)
Views (1)

Why This Project Is Important 

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) helps to ensure safety of first responders and medical staff. The current pandemic has severely disrupted the supply of PPE creating shortages and rationing of materials on the front lines of our community response. To address this problem, the open source community and Michigan Tech are stepping in to develop, manufacture, and supply PPE. The manufactured PPE is donated to first responders, the Western Upper Peninsula Health Department (WUPHD), and other fitting organizations that ask directly for support. This ensures minimal barriers to asking for and delivering equipment within our community. This project funds that effort.

Project Description 

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is a vital resource for first responders and medical staff throughout our community. Working with the Western Upper Peninsula Health Department (WUPHD), we have modified open source designed equipment to meet the needs of the local community and are printing and assembling them in laboratories across campus. This equipment is donated to local first responders and health organizations who express a need.

The product design in current production is a face shield, meeting the specifications developed with the WUPHD. In development with the National Institute of Health (NIH) is a more durable and complex filtered face mask printable on a 3D printer and assembled using commonly available materials.

We have an articulated demand for many hundreds of face shields a week and have thus far been able to meet the demand, supplying thousands into the community already! Each face shield requires just over a dollar of materials when fully assembled and the face masks a good bit more.

To discuss your PPE needs, please contact David Holden at

Meet the Researchers

Joshua Pearce

Richard Witte Professor of Materials Science & Engineering and Electrical & Computer Engineering at the Michigan Technological University. Director of the Open Sustainability Technology Research Group and faculty advisor for the Michigan Tech Open Source Hardware Enterprise.

David Holden

Manager of Technology and Innovation for the J. Robert Van Pelt and John and Ruanne Opie Library

John Schneiderhan

Library Technology Specialist at the J. Robert Van Pelt and John and Ruanne Opie Library

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of $10,000 fund goal
The average donation for this project is $127
days left
Funding is Closed

What Your Donation Can Help Us Do: 

  • Purchase materials to produce PPE
  • Distribute PPE
Although there are no rewards for this project, all donors will receive an email receipt with tax-deduction information.

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Gifts to projects listed on SUPERIORIDEAS.ORG are received and processed by Michigan Tech Fund. Michigan Tech Fund is a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code acting on behalf of Michigan Technological University. It is the policy of Michigan Tech Fund that a portion of the gifts and/or income therefrom may be used to defray the costs of raising and administering the funds.