First Batch of PPE Face Shield Frames

Here are some photos of face mask production by the Milwaukee Makerspace team’s efforts to produce face shields.

Here are some photos of the process happening at the shop one of our members runs. (We have very minimal people volunteering at the same time and they are keeping a distance from each other and being safe.)

We want to keep going! We’ve got volunteers, we’ve got machines, what we need is more material to keep them busy. If you want to help, we are accepting monetary donations through GoFundMe to help acquire the raw materials we need.

We need HDPE for the visor and clear vinyl for the shields. We’ve got enough to get started, but may run out as early as next week depending on how fast things go.

All face shields are being donated to local area hospitals we are working with, and Milwaukee Makerspace is a 501(c)3 non-profit all-volunteer run organization. We just want to help. Help us help others if you can. Thanks!

PPE for Milwaukee

We’re all living with the effects of COVID-19 and while we’ve temporarily closed Milwaukee Makerspace, we could not sit idly by while our community was in need.

There is an extreme shortage of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) for medical professionals. The people who keep us healthy and safe are currently unable to keep themselves safe. To combat this problem, the global maker community is creating and sharing PPE solutions around the world.

We have joined that effort. A few of our members have developed a face shield based on an existing popular design (the 3DVerskstan) but with modifications to the visor piece to make it easy to create on a CNC machine instead of 3D printing or laser cutting. We enter production this week and hope to make at least 1,000 face shields by Monday, April 6, 2020. (And then more to follow.)

We had planned to use a drag knife to cut out the clear face shield part, but then decided stamping them out with a die would be faster. As we talked to local companies, a few offered not only to create the die but also to stamp out thousands of face shields. This amazing donation is going to be a huge help.

So what’s next? Well, Milwaukee Makerspace is a 501(c)3 organization, all volunteer run, and we’ve got a few people who are doing a lot of work. Members are donating their expertise, machines, and materials, and some of them are donating their own money to this cause.

As an organization, we’ve also pledged a portion of our budget to this project, even though we’ve closed the space and suspended dues from members. We may be applying for grants to help us provide these PPE donations to local hospitals and clinics (and yes, we’ve already got a list of recipients we are working with.)

We have also set up a GoFundMe page to ask for donations from the Milwaukee community for the raw materials. Please share this page with your friends.

We are all volunteers trying to help our community. (At least three of our members were infected with COVID-19. Two of them had to be hospitalized.) This virus is affecting everyone, so we’ve all got to pitch in and help.

We hope our contribution will allow the medical staff of our hospitals to be safe.

Expect more updates soon… We’re all working as fast as we can, but we do want to share our progress on this as time allows.

Pictured above is our first prototype, which was a two-piece design to allow for tightly nesting the pieces for cutting. In discussion with one of the hospitals they did not want any metal hardware attaching two pieces so we’re switching to a one piece design.

Meet a Maker: Wolfgang Siebeneic

Meet a Maker: Wolfgang Siebeneic

Wolfgang Siebeneich works with wood and metal at the Makerspace.

Among Siebeneich’s many projects at the Makerspace is rehabilitating tools that have been misused.

“Doesn’t take long for tools to get bad in the woodshop,” said Siebeneich. “Tools in this place get … abused a lot …. But I’m gonna clean these up and rehabilitate them and then put them back in the woodshop and see how long they live. And I don’t expect them to last very long.”

One such tool is an adze. Adzes are ancient instruments used for carving wood. 

“One of the earliest known uses for them is for hollowing out logs for canoes. You use it much like you would a hatchet,” said Siebeneich. “I’ve been really happy with the way these work.”

“I’m a real fan of old-school human powered tools,” he said. “In my world, utility trumps aesthetics.”

Siebeneich enjoys making useful items despite his finished projects sometimes being underused. Siebeneich said, “One [project] I did about three or four years ago is building a kickwheel for the pottery area … It took me about three weeks to make it and for the next two years nobody ever used it so it seemed kind of a waste. But it was a fun project.”

“I do get a great deal of satisfaction from doing a project successfully,” said Siebeneich. “The reason I’m proud of them is not anything I do with craftsmanship…but I’m proud of them because they work, beautifully.”


by Madi Drayna