Allison Baker | Apr 14, 2020
3D Printer used to make headbands for face shields at local hospital, other locations lending efforts to help healthcare workers.


ATHOL, MA  U.S.A. (April 14, 2020) – At company headquarters in Athol, Massachusetts, employees are making more than precision tools. It was understood that the local hospital, Athol Hospital, was in need of N95 masks. Not having any to provide, the L.S. Starrett Company looked for other ways to help, by using a 3D printer in the Research and Development Department to create face shields.

Athol Hospital face shields (1)

“We obtained a CAD model of an open source headband and frame to print on our 3D printer – which is typically used to make precision parts used in fixtures or early prototypes,” said Jeffrey Wilkinson, Director of Research and Development. “We took the model and ran a quick experiment to check if the size and flexibility met expectations.”

Athol Hospital face shields (2)

“We made a prototype, which turned out quite nicely,” said Emerson Leme, VP Industrial Products – North America. “So we decided to start a small production.”

The shields are made from a polycarbonate sheet and then attached to the headbands, which are made from an ABS-like resin that is UV cured. Each headband is ultrasonically cleaned in isopropyl alcohol before being delivered to healthcare workers at Athol Hospital.

“They look great, so we’re going to be using them,” said Win Brown of Athol Hospital in a COVID-19 video update on April 13, which he conducts each day and posts on Youtube.

The plant will manufacture as many shields as possible for Athol Hospital employees.

Athol Hospital face shields (3)

At other United States locations, Starrett is supporting the creation of personal protective equipment through its products. Starrett-Bytewise Laser Measurement Systems are used by Cooper Standard Automotive in New Philadelphia, Ohio, to inspect and produce rubber seals. These seals are being used by Ford to make face shields on a massive scale. Another extension of Ford, Roush Yates Engines, is using Starrett precision measurement equipment to ensure necessary measurements for face shields made at their manufacturing facility in Mooresville, North Carolina.