Our COVID-19 Response - 3D Printing Face Shields

High Line Drones wanted to do as much as we could during the COVID-19 pandemic to help local health workers who have been running short on supplies.

We have a 3D printer that we usually just print spare parts for our drones with. But we turned our focus to producing face shields after watching this video on YouTube.

3D Printing Face Shields and YOU CAN TOO!

If you have a 3d printer, this video covers everything you need to start your own production of face shields. Some of the supplies could be hard to come by locally right now, but they are available if you look around online at websites like, Amazon, eBay and Etsy.

In the end we decided to go with a different design that would print a little faster, hold the clear film in-place better, and you do not have to punch holes in the film in order to fit it against the plastic.

Here is the design we went with...

3d printed face shields

The STL file below is for the face shield design we are currently printing. This is being used in Italy and Spain and should be printed in PETG. It uses standard transparent film as the protection which is easy to find and easy to replace.

Face Shield - 3D Printable STL File

Here are the other supplies to use with the shields

Transparency Film - Amazon

PETG Filament 1.75mm - Amazon

3D Filament Clear PETG Filament 1.75mm

PETG Filaments are in short supply on Amazon. As of today, Apr 7th the product above is still available. But just search for PETG in Amazon or eBay to find the current stock options.

Button Hole Elastic Roll - Etsy

3/4" Button Hole Elastic Roll (30yards)

Vinyl Foam - For Padding - Amazon

Frost King Vinyl Foam Tape - Closed Cell

This product can also be picked up at any Hardware store if you want to find it locally.

Apart from a 3D printer of course, that's all the parts you need to get the assembly line going! You can print each shield base in about 2 hours depending on your printer. If you lower the infill it will be faster but less durable of course. So play around with it and find what works best for you.


Our own PPE equipment

Things to keep in mind

Try to keep the environment as sterile as possible when you assemble your face shields. You are going to donate them to hospitals and doctor offices so do as much as you can to keep them contamination free! We use latex gloves and face masks during assembly, and also our own face shield during the process before we pack them in boxes ready to deliver. 

In order to let people know you are producing the face shields, post about them on Social Media. Also, visit local hospital websites for donation info, or just call around and let them know what you are doing. Here is a link to a "COVID Help Map" that you can list your services on.

COVID-19 Help Map 

Printing Tips and Maintenance 

Finished Face Shield Prints

3d printed face shields

That is a couple of pictures from our own face shield prints so far. We hope to do as many as we possibly can. One last thing to note...... make sure to take care of your printer. Most of us just have one which is going to be working almost around the clock. So after each print we make sure to clean around the nozzle a little, because PETG is very stringy and you don't want that to get in the fans.

We also shut down for a couple of hours at night to let everything cool down and rest. Then in the morning just do a complete clean and vacuum of all the fans and use Tube Lube to lubricate the moving parts that need it. That will protect your printer and mean that you can continue pumping out the shields!


We will be posting updates on this post over the next few days. If we find another design, or have extra tips to find a location to donate to, we will post it below. Also, if you have any suggestions, tips, resources to help. Please let us know.

UPDATE - April, 9th - 3D Printing Mask Adapters

3d printed mask adapters

We've changed the filament to PLA today and began to print mask adapters. These mask adapters take the strain off of the back of the ears and adjust to the size of your head. People have been wearing masks that are not the correct size for them which has been causing pain, especially when worn all day long.

The design in the picture above can be found at the following link for those that area able to print them.

Mask Adapters STL on Thingyverse

Print in PLA. We have been getting good prints using hair spray on the print bed. Stay away from Blue Painters Tape unless you want to spend hours peeling off the tape!

UPDATE - April, 9th - 3D Printed Face Shields

We are up to 20 fully finished and assembled face shields as of today! After we have printed 20 mask adapters to go with them, we will again switch production back to the shields for another round of 20 and so on!

UPDATE - April, 13th - Helpful link

People are contacting us about our face shields from all over the World. Unfortunately we can't fulfill all of the requests. But we can supply you with a link for both people looking to 3D print shields in their own Countries, and people in need of them and want a local option. 

This website is categorized by Country for both makers and people in need. Just click on your location and get access to the best local resources available.

If you do not find a local option. Then please create a new resource in your area so people can find you and your organisation. Hope that helps. Keep on printing!! #keeponprinting


UPDATE - April, 17th - Picture Updates

3d printed mask adapter example

People have been asking us how the 3d printed mask adapters work, so here is an example. As you can see, the adapter takes the mask string pressure directly off the back of the ears. Which makes it much more comfortable to wear all day long.

It's designed to fit different sizes and is easy to cut if you do not need the entire length. Printed in PLA so it's a flexible and durable part.

box of 3d printed face shield

We ran out of the green 3d printer filament and have now switched to red. We also have black ready to go when the red is finished. Both the new rolls are made by Overture(link above) which has been printing pretty well so far.

So far the only issue has been a blocked printer nozzle. But we will need to shut down the printer for a full clean over the next couple of days.

We are currently at 30 out of our 100 3D-printed shields goal! 

Any questions??? Get in contact with us via our contact page! Happy to help!


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