Got a 3D printer? Here’s how you can help local hospitals

Non-profit teams with hospital to create clear list of needed equipment

As more and more people volunteer to help hospitals and health care workers by making equipment at home, experts warn about the importance of meeting hospital standards when it comes to donations.

ORLANDO, Fla. – As more and more people volunteer to help hospitals and health care workers by making equipment at home, experts warn about the importance of meeting hospital standards when it comes to donations.

Candy and Ian Cole run The Maker Effect Foundation, which enables individuals to build items on their own and at home.

"Everybody has the power to make something," Candy Cole said.

The two Orange County residents worked with local hospitals, like Orlando Health, to develop a list of what can be made and donated and where to take it.

Communities across central Florida continue to join forces to help with the need for personal protective equipment.

"Some of it was surprising," Cole said, as she learned what hospitals were looking for. "Some of it was they don't need finished products. For example, for face shields they need the thing that attaches to the head. They have the clear plastic parts."

Cole explained to News 6 the reason behind this project was to ensure what people donate can actually be used.

"Some people push out a mask design, and for some reason, a hospital can't use it,' she said. "Maybe it leaks or doesn't have the right filtration."

Orlando Health is accepting equipment donations at its Donation Center at 1315 Atlanta Avenue Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Below is the list of needed supplies:

At Orlando Health, we are deeply humbled by the enormous outpouring of generosity at this time from the community. Thank you to The Maker Effect Foundation and Open Source COVID-19 Medical Supplies – Central and South Florida for organizing efforts to support our team members, patients and community. We are closely monitoring and managing our supply levels as the health and safety of our team members, patients, and overall community remains our focus. Your offer of producing and supplying donations of 3D printed materials and hand-sewn masks will help us diversify our resources.

As of Monday, April 6, Orlando Health is accepting donations of the following community-made PPE items.

  • Face Shield with Cap/Cover & Bottom Curved Guide – Many face shield designs are acceptable.

DESIGN PREFERENCES: Face shields come in many shapes and designs. Our clinical team prefers face shields


    • Include a cap/visor to provide protection on the top of the shield.
    • Allow elastic or adjustable headband to fit a variety of head sizes without being too tight. These shields can be worn for extended periods. It is acceptable for excess elastic to protrude on the side of the shield.
    • The double headband designs allow for greatest flexibility, as well as increasing the distance from the face to allow for larger masks/respirators to be worn under the shield.
    • Clear shield dimensions of approximately 11” wide and 8.5” in length with holes aligned to standard 3-hole punch. Leave any protective film/sheets on the shield. These will be removed when used by clinical staff.
    • Include a curved shield guide/brace along the bottom edge. This helps keep the shape of the mask firm and consistent as the person moves around.
    • We will accept the visors/face shields without the shield and/or the elastic.
  • Adjustable Mask Extension Loop – this makes masks with ear loop straps more comfortable. Many shapes and designs can be found online. Please ensure the extension loops are free of sharp edges
  • Hand-Sewn Surgical Masks – We will accept donations of hand-sewn masks made of medical grade fabric (Halyard H600). Because we have a limited amount of this material dedicated to mask production, we would like to partner with groups that can produce a large volume of these masks relatively quickly. To request an allotment of fabric, please email
  • N-95 or Respirator masks – While 3D printed mask and respirator designs attempt to meet N-95 mask filter efficiency standards, we require design approval of these masks before accepting donations. Mask effectiveness requires a very tight seal around the face, as well as filter media that meets specific standards. If you have a design you would like to submit for review, please email with as much information as you can provide, including renderings, illustrations, photos, detailed list of materials, etc.

Please take the following precautions when printing

  • Please do not create PPE if anyone in your home is sick
  • Please do not consume disposable gloves or N95 masks when making these
  • Do not heat treat or chemical treat, we will be sterilizing at Orlando Health
  • Please do not hold on or store the equipment once produced
  • Please wash hands immediately before, after creating, and assembling PPE
  • Please keep any household pets away from PPE production area

Please bag/ box items with the following information on the container:

  • Type of item
  • Quantity of items
  • Remaining assembly needed before use
  • Contact information for questions/donation receipt

About the Author:

It has been an absolute pleasure for Clay LePard living and working in Orlando since he joined News 6 in July 2017. Previously, Clay worked at WNEP TV in Scranton, Pennsylvania, where he brought viewers along to witness everything from unprecedented access to the Tobyhanna Army Depot to an interview with convicted double-murderer Hugo Selenski.