La Salle grad 3D-prints face shields to protect against coronavirus

Kim Glovas
March 30, 2020 - 1:44 pm
3D-printed face shield

Courtesy of Trans "RJ" Lualhati

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The lack of protective gear for health care workers who are on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic remains on the forefront of many people’s minds.

For Trans “RJ” Lualhati, a 2016 La Salle University grad, he heard firsthand from family members and friends in the Philadelphia health care system about the equipment shortages.

“It was scary knowing that the people that are fighting the virus on the frontlines, they don’t have the correct gear,” he said.

Lualhati was an ISBT major — integrated science and business technology — and he now works as a materials manager for Johnson & Johnson. He noticed on Facebook some groups collaborating to make protective gear, so with his skillset, he jumped in.

He contacted his alma mater, which has its own 3D printers, and was given permission and some supplies to 3D-print face shields for health care workers.

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The masks are considered protective gear for anyone who comes in contact with a COVID-19 patient.

“It’s a 3D-printed headband that you wear around your forehead,” he explained, “and attached to the headband is a sheet of transparency film and you take a standard three-hole punch and you attach it to some of the prongs that are on the headband.”

3D-printed face shield
Courtesy of Trans "RJ" Lualhati

3D-printed face shield
Courtesy of Trans "RJ" Lualhati

Lualhati delivered 30 of the shields to Paul’s Run Retirement Community in the Northeast last week. He has 100 more ready to be delivered to the University of Pennsylvania Hospital, Temple University Hospital and Abington Hospital—Jefferson Health. 

Lualhati said he’s proud to step up to the fight.

“Being able to utilize this type of high-end technology to produce things that can help save lives — and those are the lives of both patients and health care providers — then I will do it.”