Terex Utilities Helps Make Face Shields for Health Care Workers

Terex Utilities, Watertown, South Dakota, recently used its 3D printers to help make face shields for health care workers.

Terex Utilities did the work at the request of Lake Area Technical Institute, whose Electronic Systems Technology and Robotics departments are leading the effort.

Dan Brenden, director of engineering for Terex Utilities said that because it takes up to 13 hours to print four face shield bands, the college asked local businesses to help by printing parts. Two other companies and more than a dozen individuals are also helping with the project.

Terex Utilities initially started printing mask parts but switched to printing bands for face shields because they were needed more urgently to protect healthcare workers from the coronavirus. Terex Utilities’ 3D printer can produce eight bands every 20 hours, and the company is running the printer 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Terex Utilities usually uses the 3D printer for rapid prototyping of small parts for digger derrick or aerial device product design, explained Brenden.

With students now studying from home, the technical institute’s 30 3D printers were sitting idle. That gave Brooks Jacobsen, department supervisor for electronics systems technology and robotics at LATI, the idea to use them to make safety gear for healthcare pros. To date, about 800 face shields and 100 masks have been distributed to health care providers in South Dakota and Minnesota.

“We have had tremendous community support for the effort. In addition to those using their 3D printers, we have also had material donated,” said Jacobsen.

Terex Utilities has a long relationship with LATI, which also offers programs for diesel technology, precision machining, welding, and energy and heavy equipment operations. Several Terex team members are the school’s advisory boards, and the company supports the Build South Dakota scholarship program.

Through that program, Terex Utilities provides internships and employment opportunities for LATI students. Also, Terex Utilities holds its annual service training school on the institute’s campus.

“During times of crisis, it is especially important to support the needs of our local communities, as well as those of our customers. We are glad we could contribute a small part to the effort to produce the face shield bands needed by health care professionals near and far,” said Joe Caywood, director of marketing.

Photo: Terex team members use the company’s 3D printers to make parts for face shields needed by medical professionals.