MSSM Student and Faculty Member Use 3D Printers to Create Medical Equipment

Maine School of Science and Mathematics (MSSM) has two community members working toward being part of the solution in the Covid-19 pandemic. Eli Wales, a sophomore from Mount Desert Island and Dr. Greg Hamlin, Computer Science Instructor at MSSM, have been using 3D printers to create full-face shields and ear strap holders for local hospitals. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) designates full-face shields as preferred Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

Eli joined a team of about 5 members with skills in 3D printing and an interest in helping the situation. Prior to the Governor’s edict to stay home, Eli and his team went around to schools in the Mount Desert Island area and borrowed Flashforge Finder 3D printers that have been donated to many Maine schools by the Perloff Family Foundation. Eli said, “each member of the team has created a small production line where we make as many ear strap holders as possible.” The purpose of the ear strap holder is to keep the face shield’s elastic band off the ears, which can hurt after wearing it for a number of hours. Eli has personally produced around 700 of the strap holders and other members have made about the same. He noted they have only made about 3 face shields and taken them to local hospitals to make sure they will be acceptable.

Dr. Hamlin, using 3D printers and materials from Maine School of Science and Mathematics, has been producing protective face shields for use by local healthcare providers. He has been running two of the school’s printers 24/7 producing plastic frames, which are then fitted with a transparent front panel made from overhead transparencies or similar material. An initial set of 40+ units has been provided to Cary Medical Center in Caribou.  Dr. Hamlin said, “We were fortunate that the school had the supplies and equipment on hand for the project, so it was just a matter of setting things up in my guest room and keeping the printers supplied with filament.

This article was submitted by Ryan McDonald, Public Relations Coordinator for Maine School of Science and Mathematics as part of the Maine Schools Sharing Success Campaign. To submit a story or an idea, email it to Rachel at