Academy of Art University students use 3D technology to produce face shields for front-line workers

Jesus Figueroa

Academy of Art University instructors and students put their creative resourcefulness to action as they use 3D printers to create face shields that will be donated to San Francisco hospital front-liners.

Faced with the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Academy's team led by Max Niehaus, Industrial Design Shop Manager and instructor, started prototyping face shields with 3D printers.

Earlier last week, he delivered the first set of face shields to Saint Francis Memorial Hospital to be tested and approved by their workers.

To date, his team has delivered 100 face shields to the hospital and more are expected to come to fulfill demands from healthcare workers as well as first responders, firefighters, and police in the local community.

Students, faculty, and staff from School of Industrial Design and School of Jewelry & Metal Arts who have 3D printers at home have been invited to join this initiative.

The face shields produced by the team have been collected at Industrial Design Shop for sterilization and assembly. 
"I'm proud to see our entire university come together to produce potentially life-saving equipment," Niehaus said. "Students, faculty, and technicians from the Schools of Industrial Design, Jewelry, Architecture, and Sculpture have worked tirelessly to see this through. The online 3D-printing community's open source ethos allowed us to get started, and we look forward to sharing our work with other institutions."
In response to COVID-19 and updated state and federal health guidance, Academy of Art University has moved all classes online.

About Academy of Art University
Established in 1929, Academy of Art University is one of the largest private accredited art and design schools in the nation. Located in San Francisco, the epicenter of culture and technology, Academy of Art University offers more than 135 accredited degree programs spanning 40 areas of study, including entertainment arts, advertising, fashion, architecture, game development, music, communication, photography and more. For more information, please visit

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