Carmel library uses 3D printers to make PPE for hospital workers 


By Calina He 

The Carmel Clay Public Library’s Digital Media Lab is using its three 3D printers to make personal protective equipment to distribute to local hospitals.

CIC COM 0519 Printed Masks
One of the Digital Media Lab’s 3D printers makes mask extenders. (Submitted photo)

“We saw a news story about a student who was 3D printing mask extenders, which are little pieces that hold the elastic of the mask behind your ears so that (the mask) doesn’t injure your ears. One of my staff asked if we could print those and distribute them to local hospitals,” said Peter Konshak, the library’s computer technology services manager.

Konshak said Kristy Thompson, the library’s digital media specialist, asked to print mask extenders and face shields. Although CCPL and the Digital Media Lab have been closed to the public since March 15, the relocated 3D printers have remained busy creating the PPE.

Thompson said each face shield takes approximately five hours to print, whereas each mask extender takes half an hour. She said after printing, the face shields and mask extenders are cleaned and assembled.

“I have printed around 450 mask extenders and 100 (face) shields,” Thompson said. “I have been using the Community East Hospital donation portal for contacting the PPE distributor.”

Konshak said CCPL has donated the face shields and mask extenders to multiple local hospitals, including IU Health North and Community Health North hospital. 

“People are very excited to get them,” he said. “I think it’s really nice that we were able to use some of the library’s resources during this time to assist the efforts of the healthcare community.”