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3D printing during a pandemic

Despite COVID-19 requiring Harrell Health Sciences Library faculty and staff to work from home for some time, the library’s Technology Sandbox remained able to help with various 3D printing projects remotely.

Working with multiple departments on campus, multimedia specialists in the library assisted with finding or designing 3D models to be printed on one of the library’s machines. These machines are capable of printing hard and flexible filaments.

Dermatology worked with library multimedia specialists to print face mask extenders. These extenders help the ease pain behind the ears for staff who must wear masks for prolonged periods of time. Instead the elastic on the mask looping around the ear, it loops around hooks on the flexible piece of plastic that rests on the back of the head. The models were found here.

Multimedia specialists also worked with the Department of Ophthalmology to design 3D-printed pieces that fit onto an ophthalmoscope and hold a plastic face shield. A design that was found online was modified using the 3D design software Blender to fit the specific scopes in the clinic.

The library was also tasked with printing models of the COVID-19 virus to be given out to graduating residents. The models found online were not perfect for printing, so they were cleaned up in Blender, and more than 20 were printed.

Those interested in 3D printing at the library can see more information on the library website or email

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