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Shield Makers

Meeting the demand of PPE for healthcare workers during COVID-19.

Face Shields are in short supply due to COVID-19. Shield Makers is a dedicated team of individuals designing and creating face shields for those who need them most. 


Our mission is to fill the dire need for face shields for medical workers at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Hospital, and Los Angeles County Department of Health Services facilities. 



Non-profit Effort


Project Lead

Industrial Designing, Concept Development, 3d Printing, 3d Modelling, 3d Rendering, Rapid Prototyping


Hon Li

Tricia Sada

Skyler Coppenrath​

Morgan West

DesignMatters @ ArtCenter


Andy Lin

Chris Hacker

Real Shields for Real People

To date, Shield Makers has fabricated and delivered over 4,600 face shields, and counting to hospitals in the LA county area.

10. Rancho nurses Joan Paguio, Austene B

Key Criteria

While reviewing dozens of our own prototypes and prototype submissions, we formulated 3 key criteria that our design uncompromisingly needed to meet. 


Full Face Protection

180 degrees of protection

from aerosols.

Aseptic Surfaces

Shields need to be wiped down, or able to withstand the sterilizing equipment such as autoclaves and steam tables.



Face shields can be worn for 8-16 hours at a time depending on the shift being worked, therefore pressure on the head and weight were two large considerations.


Withstand quick movements,

impacts, and dropping.



The design must have Interchangable pieces, should any piece break. The process can be completed without the need for extra tools.

Evaluating Prototypes


We received prototypes and ran them through rigorous quality testing. Some designs cracked and fell apart, others fogged up too much. We shared our findings with resident doctors and therapists at Rancho for professional validation.  

Fabrication Processes

We weighed the pros and cons of the manufacturing processes we had access to. Various individuals, institutions, schools and corporations were able to help.  Below are the processes we evaluated through prototyping. 

We ultimately chose to focus our main production on 3D printing and molding/casting.




Affordable tooling (x-Acto/home tools)


Large scale empowerment


Fluctuations in quality 


Difference in materials


Possible contamination




Rapid production


Cost effective per unit


Machine availability


Confined to materials that safely "offgas" when cut




Low to high tooling cost


Easy to outsource



High cost per unit


Questionable sterilization of materials


PLA? ABS? Ridges? Porous?




Low machine time cost


Flat cut potential


Machine availability

Molding and



Low tooling costs/flexible tooling


Materials can be sterilized


Need outdoor ventilation or a fume extractor

PPE required due to toxic/hazardous materials 




Quality and consistency


Materials can be sterilized


High tooling costs


Long lead time due to tooling




Low tooling costs


Encourages flat cut designs


High demand


Material waste


3D Printing

Monoprice was kind to donate 25 of their MP10 3D printers. We built and put the printers to work immediately. We 3D printed mold cases as positive.

Molding and Casting

We 3D printed mold cases as a positive, then used a platinum low viscosity silicone to create molds. We then poured a 65 Shore D Polyurethane (Silcast ii from Silpak) to create the headbands

Creating the Mold

Pouring Silicone Molds

The mold boxes were 3d printed. Mold release was sprayed inside the molds and a LV Silicone was mixed and poured into the mold case. 

Removing Mold Post Cure

After roughly 1 hour the mold is ready to be released from the mold box. 

Mold Cleaning

The molds needed a bit of trimming and fine tuning to be ready for the pouring of polyurethane.

Casting the Headband

Mixing and Pouring Casts

Part A and Part B are mixed up 1:1, with each cast using approximately 30 grams of polyurethane material. 1 gram of blue pigment was added for color, and mixed thoroughly for 30 seconds.

Pulling + Curing Casts

The molds needed a bit of trimming and fine tuning to be ready for the pouring of polyurethane.

Trimming and Sanding Cast

The flashing on the cast needs to be trimmed and sanded. 

Final Prep and Shield Assembly

Tapping face shields for riveting

On the shield, through holes for rivets are tapped into place. We also created a jig and drilled larger stacks for quicker production. 

Drilling rivet holes 

Indents to indicate drilling were created in mold. These hole were drilled out with a 1/8" drill bit. 

Riveting and assembling

Once all parts are prepared and finished, the shield is riveted to the headband, and the elastic strap and foam padded are applied. 

Bill of Materials


Cast or Printed

$0.70 per unit

Closed Cell Foam Padding

$0.70 per 8.5 inch piece

5/8” Buttonhole Nylon Elastic 

$0.70 per 12 inch piece


1 Mil PET Front Shield (9x11”)

$0.50 per unit

1 Mil PET Top Shied

(Not pictured)

$0.50 per unit

Thank You to Our

Healthcare Workers!

The best part was the people we were making the shields for. The wearers of our shields were not only happy with the quality of the product but also knowing that we were thinking of them and actively doing something to help.

Our website allows the team to coordinate with volunteers, and share our learnings with others. 


Our Instagram account allows us to be in direct contact with the healthcare personnel that need shields, and gain insights and feedback on what to improve. 

Shield Makers in Featured Publications:

Call To Action

We are a group of students & professionals from ArtCenter College of Design who are working closely with Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center, ArtCenter faculty, and Supplyframe to design face shields.

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