A pivot from an educational center to a crisis-response plant

April 14, 2020
MxD manufactures face shields for those on COVID-19 front lines.

MxD announced that it has begun manufacturing protective face shields for medical personnel on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic in Chicago. 

MxD, partnering with its member Autodeck, also has produced step-by-step instructions for making these face shields to guide other manufacturers who wish to replicate this in their own communities. Instructions for manufacturing the shields can be found here.  

MxD’s first batches of face shields were donated to Chicago’s Alivio Medical Center, which was in desperate need of the personal protective equipment, or PPE, and will receive more shields as they are fabricated.

MxD’s Future Factory floor, which typically is used to demonstrate advancements in digital manufacturing to thousands of visitors each year, pivoted to begin producing the face shields in late March. MxD leaders began working on the design in mid-March.

Autodesk’s high-speed 3D printer, which already was located on MxD’s factory floor, enabled MxD to triple the number of shields produced each day.  

“Our mission is serving uninsured patients, many of whom are undocumented and fearful of traditional health-care institutions,” said Alivio’s CEO Esther Corpuz. “We are grateful to all those who come together and leverage their resources, expertise and skills to donate such critical equipment to our clinical staff. Your generosity is uplifting to a staff who is working very hard in an extremely difficult time.” 

“We are honored to supply the heroic medical personnel working through this dangerous pandemic,” said MxD CEO Chandra Brown. “So many smaller centers in Chicago have urgent needs and do not have crucial supplies and equipment. We’re also working to connect medical centers that need larger PPE orders to the networks that can supply them.”

“In response to the shortage of essential supplies on the front lines of the crisis, Autodesk has initiatives in place to help accelerate manufacturing of medical devices and personal protective equipment,” said Sean Manzanares, senior manager of manufacturing business strategy at Autodesk. “Our hope is the collective response will address some of the needs of our medical professionals and the people who desperately need support.”