Makelab Rises to the Challenge
Downtown Brooklyn 3D printer manufactures critical medical equipment to support COVID-19 response.
April 07, 2020
In the coming weeks, hundreds of face shields, face masks, and ventilator parts will be manufactured in Downtown Brooklyn to meet the growing need for essential medical equipment thanks to Makelab, a 3D printing company that is repurposing its operations in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Makelab has completed 10,000+ projects since 2017 for clients ranging from engineering firms to event producers, including Silvercup Studios, OMA, and AECOM. In March, in response to requests for supplies and personal protective equipment from clients and the community, they started sourcing materials and printing prototypes to test for effectiveness and safety. The firm now has the capacity to fabricate and assemble entire face shields using an approved design, and will continue to prototype masks and ventilator parts and adaptors for testing.
Makelab will offer these supplies at cost as a service to the community and as of early April has begun manufacturing face shields with a starting capacity of 175 shields per day. The firm currently holds contracts with hospitals in New York and New Jersey and has also connected with the NYC Economic Development Corporation, which is coordinating local supply procurement.
(Left) A face shield visor in production; (right) the finished product.
With an on-site production lab in the Clocktower Building (325 Gold Street), Makelab is well-positioned to meet the needs of New York City and the broader region. As co-founder Christina Perla states, “now is the time to leverage 3D printing’s biggest strength: lean and agile manufacturing, with the added benefit of being close to home.”
Team members working from home are collaborating with the two essential employees running the lab to see the jobs to completion. The firm will draw from prior experience working with a wide variety of materials - including PLA, a basic and cost-effective plastic that is well-suited for shield and mask parts.
In addition to this important and timely work, Makelab remains open for business to serve new and existing clients through digital consultations. The company is offering free USPS shipping for all customers while in-person pickups are temporarily suspended.
If you need assistance producing medical protective equipment, would like to order face shields, or have materials to donate, please place an order here.
You can find more resources for Downtown Brooklyn community members here, and resources for businesses including financial assistance programs here. See an updated list of businesses like Makelab that are still open in Downtown Brooklyn here.