Local fabricator working to produce medical face shields

BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) You've heard about shortages of personal protective equipment. Face shields and masks and how the state is buying up as many as it can.

That effort is spreading locally.

Our Cat Viglienzoni took a look at how a Burlington fabricator space is close to finishing the design for one key piece of equipment.

Jake Blend is Generator's rapid prototype shop manager. For the past couple weeks -- he's been holed up inside their Burlington building, working on these face shields.

It's a group effort to create these -- involving Generator's whole team. They're trying to create a design that's easy to 3D print and assemble, and potentially sterilize so they don't have to be thrown out.

The UVM Medical Center said they appreciate Generator's efforts to make more face shields. And said they're working closely with them to make sure anything produced meets safety standards, saying:

"Ensuring the safety of patients and staff is our top priority, so the prototype is undergoing significant review by a safety committee and will be approved by the hospital before put into use."

Once their devices are approved by medical professionals, Generator's board says the goal is to get more people around the state on board with building those designs.

They say it could take a couple of weeks to make that happen. And their goal would be to get as many as possible to health care workers and people on the front lines of service industries right now.

Blend says they've already delivered more prototypes to the hospital. His goal is to get one produced in under a minute.

"What I'm thinking of when I make these is how cheap and how fast and how many people can get these too because time, every second, counts really," says Blend.

Generator's board says they can make a thousand masks with their supplies. And hopes with other partners on board, it'll be far more than that.