Printing protective equipment in the basement

From Louisiana to Montana, grassroots army makes face shields with 3D printers to address coronavirus shortages.
5:46 | 04/10/20

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Transcript for Printing protective equipment in the basement
So many stories of Americans rising to the occasion in this crisis donating meals to health care workers checking on their neighbors in organizing food drives. Taking a closer look at a growing nationwide movement of makers designers engineers science teachers and students. All banning together from their basements and garages using 3-D printers in some cases to help keep much needed personal protective equipment. On the frontlines. ABC's Devin Dwyer has their story. It's the sound of American ingenuity in the time of crisis. A cottage industry of 3-D printing teachers and teenagers gaining steam to fight covad nineteen. From Louisiana. We're doing their daughter the timing of Banco. 3-D printers the entire families turning their basements and garages into production mines for their personal protective equipment now in short supply. This is that our the last happy. A week but there. Ford and being. Colorado seventh grader Emilia brown and her father Matt giving us an inside look at their operation. 3-D printers making plastic headbands for fee shields one per hour around the clock. This is one that's imprinted. Frontier takes. Then beats a plastic. The printers male teen feel lament to create a preprogrammed design on the heated surface. Many makers using donated from materials to create their prince free of charge others selling net cost about a dollar a piece. He's down here. Finished. In Maryland Todd black shows us how a laser cutter shapes those clear shields his art studio turned assembly line. Churning out more than 12100 shield so far. We're shipping out. 500 face shields today to Arizona. Retired air force engineer John grant is part of the effort he's attaching overhead projector sheets from school classrooms to 3-D printed headbands. He says a college professor inspired his fee shield design. He would always tell us just remember as an experiment can always be solved with the materials in the room. And anytime I come up. You know some kind of problem that seems insoluble. Say that to myself. And some I don't find a way to get it turns. The American spirit of generosity. Unflinching in the face of the pandemic. Obviously are well collection bin. Right there good morrow and yesterday we neglected Obama from 250. Advisors. Minnesota science teacher mark Westlake is collected within 700 feet shield so far. From dozens of volunteers 3-D printers across the Twin Cities. Here all bag. All of the shield that have been donated to saint Thomas academy innovation center now a community distribution hub to herself or if you. TD Dakota county here. Many deliveries headed straight to the front lines at local hospitals are. All burn over and over again each year we had to use the scene. Treaty ended she'll are seen by cancer or eighties and their her hair and the law in the end it can't be clean any more mean that's. That's the way the PP's situation is right now I'm a little scary. The FDA says 3-D printing may be useful in a pinch but warns homemade protective gear is unlikely to provide the same fluid barrier an air filtration protection. As certified equipment. Eventually companies that make this professionally. In. Batches. Oh yeah 101000 at a time organized bill that. Some in the record is trying to fill us all. The shortages even felt in rural America Montana teachers Buffy Smith and Shakespeare sent in the Guinean orders for their 3-D printed face masks. Nonstop. Montana department of corrections ordered 200 of them Montana I care ordered a hundred of them and nanny interestingly enough we need some that are going to West Virginia had to dock there that's kind of how Montana work. Innocent you know somebody in. Running around the clock. Your Denver the movement is taking off within 15100 community volunteers. Dancing together to make for cold. Now starting peer delivery of 3-D printed PPP to rural hospitals. Figured this was a way I could use mind skills. You have caller needed. Volunteer pilot Eric echlin is on leave from United Airlines. His cargo today eight boxes of homemade. We started to realize that those full. Face shields worked very very important she named was pretty worried as we are numbers that say do we have enough to get your projector that's why. I mean what what what we asked when somebody said hey we got the solution or you won't bring him she had. And part of that effort shields made in Emilia and Matt Brown's family garage. Does it make sure the CDC. Actually eating the issue I'm glad that they're getting to where they need to beat us so that's what we're who have worked to help people you know. Stanley's filling in the gap for PPE. 13. There's always open that everybody can do even if you don't have a three Brenner you can you get help somehow for ABC news live I'm Devin Dwyer in Washington.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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