Washington, D.C. – David Thibodeau of the U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) has created face shields and surgical mask tension release bands for healthcare providers at Holy Cross Germantown Hospital using a 3-D printer he built. Thibodeau, an IT Specialist at GPO, provided the hospital with a total of 87 items, including 27 face shields and 60 bands that help make those shields more comfortable. He plans to continue producing them at a rate of about 4–6 face shields and 10 bands per day. Thibodeau volunteered to take on the project and is completing the masks all on his own time.
“I have a number of friends in the medical field, and I worked in the medical field prior to joining GPO, so I want to help as much as I can during this pandemic,” said David Thibodeau. “I reached out to some local hospitals to see if they needed any personal protective equipment. Holy Cross Germantown asked if I could produce face shields. I immediately found designs online, ordered material, and got to work.”
To create the face shields, Thibodeau used a 3-D printer that he built from a kit he purchased, along with raw materials such as rubber bands and transparency paper. It takes him about 4.5 hours to produce each face shield. Thibodeau purchased his first 3-D printer in 2016 and completes 3-D printing projects in his spare time. He plans to upgrade to an even more efficient printer this summer.
“Kudos to Mr. Thibodeau for volunteering to create face shields for those risking their lives on the front lines,” said GPO Director Hugh Nathanial Halpern. “His work alone will make a difference in combatting COVID–19. His ‘get-it-done’ attitude is a great example for others on the GPO team and throughout the community of how we can each take initiative to help our Nation get through this pandemic.”
For more information, please visit www.gpo.gov.