Introduction: Lightweight 3D Printed Protective Face Shield for COVID-19 Healthcare Providers

About: Living in the future, building what's missing

There’s a major shortage of face shields for frontline health workers during the COVID-19 epidemic. Hospitals are looking around for more supply and turning to both manufacturers and the maker community for innovative solutions for mass production.

This face shield is an easy to make and lightweight solution. The main part can be printed on any 3D printer with a minimum 150x150mm print bed which allows more makers to contribute and increase availability of more face shields for their local hospitals. The shield is a sheet of A4 Transparency Film Paper for Laser Printer.


  • Lightweight - A face shield can’t be too heavy because the health workers wear these for hours. This face shield is only 25 grams.
  • Comfort - A face shield has to be comfortable and not too tight. This shield has foam padding against the head and double elastic band.
  • Closed top - A major concern with many designs is the open top. It’s not ideal because droplets from patient sneezing or coughing can make their way in from the top. That’s why this design includes a closed top.
  • Viewing angle - A face shield needs a large unobstructed viewing angle. In this build we use an A4 overhead projector sheet (commonly found in schools and school supplies also known as Transparency film).


  • 3D printer (minimum 150x150mm print bed)
  • PLA filament (9 meter)
  • One sheet of A4 Transparency Film Paper for Laser Printer
  • 1 meter of 6mm elastic band
  • 18 cm foam padding tape (recommended; closed cell foam)

Step 1: Print the Face Shield Holder

Click here to download the model designed by Drake Noffsinger. The preferred model is called finalmask.stl

No support needed. Here's the settings I found working best for me with a balance of quality and print time.

Recommended print settings for approx 1,5 hour print using PLA:

  • Support: Disabled
  • Raft: Disabled
  • Wall: No
  • Brim: No
  • Layer Height: 0.3mm
  • First Layer Height: 0.3mm
  • Perimeter Shells: 4
  • Top Solid Layers: 4
  • Bottom Solid Layers: 3
  • Fill Density: 0%
  • Print Speed: 60mm/s (not too fast to avoid layer shifting)
  • Travel Speed: 80 mm/s
  • Temperature Extruder: 210C
  • Temperature Platform: 50C
  • Fan: Off

Step 2: Add Padding Foam Tape

Cut a ~18cm slice of foam tape (alternatively cut a 1cm wide slice of foam and attach it with glue).

Step 3: Add a Strap

Cut approx 1 meter of elastic band and slide it through the holes on the side. This should be attached by the user for best fit. I recommend attaching it back so you get a double strap.

Step 4: Cut the Transparent Film

Cut some large round corners at the bottom of the A4 sheet. This is in order for the health worker to avoid cutting herself or anyone around. You can also consider cutting on the top of the sheet to get the height you prefer.

Step 5: Final Shield

Slide in the sheet and you’re finished!