Protective Equipment

Skip to content  

A significant challenge facing medical professionals during the pandemic has been the lack of personal protective equipment like face masks, gloves and goggles. In response, many CSU campuses have employed 3D printers to produce plastic face shields that meet hospital standards for medical staff.

California State University, Long Beach, for example, has several groups engaged in this work: The Innovation Space, the Maker Society and Long Beach Rocketry (LBR). LBR teamed up with one of its mentors, aerospace engineer Eric Gever, who has gathered a number of groups, from college and high school students to hobbyists,​ to make and donate face shields for healthcare centers across the United States.

“There are medical staff on the front lines who need personal protective equipment, something we can supply in mass amounts,” says Corey Fraga, CSULB student and LBR business lead. “I wanted to motivate the team into working on something positive, even with so much to be sad about. We can’t let anything discourage us, and we need to continue to work toward things that are good for the world.”

Gever has also partnered with students and faculty at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, and his concerted effort is producing around 2,000 shields each week.

“As we move through this pandemic, our first responders, such as nurses and doctors, and essential workers like bus drivers, police officers and firefighters, to name a few, are fighting this battle with limited resources,” says Alberto Smith, a Cal Poly Pomona senior studying manufacturing engineering who is working with Gever. “Projects like this show how we all can work together and do something to help those on the front lines.”

In addition to CSULB and Cal Poly Pomona, nine other Cal State campuses are producing 3D printed plastic face shields: California State University, Bakersfield; California State University Channel Islands; California State University, Chico; California State University, Dominguez Hills; California State University, Fresno​California State University, Northridge; California State University, Sacramento; California State University, San Bernardino and San José State University​​. 

Face shields aren't the only way the CSU family is helping out: Participants in a virtual knitting and crocheting class at California State University Maritime Academy have been sewing fabric face coverings for healthcare professionals, and many campuses have donated personal protective gear like face masks, gloves, goggles, lab coats and hand sanitizer to local hospitals and healthcare centers.

Alberto Smith and Eric Gever in the workshop.
Alberto Smith and Eric Gever in the workshop.
Alberto Smith 3D printing a face shield.
Alberto Smith assembling a face shield using the parts he 3D printed.
Alberto Smith and Eric Gever working together to 3D print a face shield.