Photo courtesy of Daniel Smith, Innevation Center

Amid the global coronavirus pandemic, several departments at the University of Nevada, Reno have been helping hospitals in Reno and rural Nevada in need of personal protective equipment. Efforts include 3D printing parts for face masks and shields. 

The project started in late March and individuals across the city of Reno have offered their help. The university shared in a post on Nevada Today staff at the DeLamare Library, the College of Computer Science and Engineering, the @One and the Innevation Center participating in PPE production. 3D printers are used to create the face shield bands and the @One sourced materials for the clear visor.

“Knowing that we had both the equipment and the resources to contribute that combined with my background really made me want to help,” Nick Crowl, Makerspace and Dataworks Manager at the DeLaMare Library said. “And luckily I work for an organization that was willing to let me take some expensive equipment home.”

Crowl said the university efforts were funded by the university libraries and a crowdfunding campaign. According to Crowl, the community outreach for the project has included more than 100 people. Participants created a Slack channel to involve community members who owned a 3D printer and were willing to help create the face shields.

The university departments also collaborate with companies across Reno, Crowl said. GriffonCO and Reno Collective have also provided their 3D printers to develop face shields. 

“They’re probably the largest single contributors,” Crowl said. “I think they have between 12 and 16 3D printers that have grown monumental efforts at organizing all of this and keeping the logistics in line… Really, it’s the community as a whole that’s come together to meet the major need.”

The groups involved on campus were sure of their willingness to help.

“I think there was no question that we shouldn’t help. Of course we should,” Tara Radniecki, head of the DeLaMare Library said. “Especially at a university campus, while we may not have all the resources we do have some and we have massive amounts of expertise.”

Sarah Strang can be found at or on Twitter @scsstrang.