Innovative Office Products Director of Engineering Steve Bowman completes the printing of a headband for a PPE face shield using the company’s 3D printer. IOP is making headbands daily to support the Lehigh Valley Health Network’s request for face shields to protect its employees during the coronavirus pandemic.

Innovative Office Products (IOP) is responding to the needs of a local healthcare system, Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN), in its request to help its workers be better protected during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Through the use of one of its two 3D printers, the company is producing the headband component for face shields. Like other personal protective equipment (PPE), the face shields are an essential item needed for protection in high-risk environments. They are also in high demand: According to a recent national survey of infection prevention experts by the Association of Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), nearly half of all respondents (560 or 49.16 percent) said they do not have enough face shields.

The company delivered the first quantity of its 25 3D-printed headbands on April 8. Using a durable, high quality plastic material already in stock, IOP is producing 25 headbands per day, with the ability to increase that amount if needed. The company’s 3D printers are typically used for developing prototypes for its original equipment manufacturer customers who require highly customized monitor mounting solutions for their businesses. IOP and its Innovative brand design and manufacture these products for clients such as Pitney Bowes, Lockheed Martin and Siemens.

For IOP, the ability to contribute is not only the right thing to do, but also personal. The process for developing the headbands began when IOP employee Marissa Rachjaibun learned of LVHN’s need during a conversation with her neighbor, Darlene Farris-LaBar. A professor of art and design at East Stroudsburg University who teaches 3D design and printing, Farris-LaBar had been working with LVHN to create the 3D headband printing files the healthcare network needed. Once IOP received the print files, the company was able to create its first set of 25 headbands within a matter of days.

Innovative Office Products employees Marissa Rachjaibun and Todd Robinson display a sample face shield at IOP’s headquarters in Easton, Pa. The company is making headbands for face shield using its 3D printer to support the PPE needs of the Lehigh Valley Health Network.

“We realize our nation’s healthcare workers, and our local communities, need every bit of support they can get right now,” said IOP President Dave Fox. “I’m proud our team could mobilize and use the resources we have in place to support the healthcare heroes who are on the front lines battling COVID-19. It’s inspiring to see others in the community rise to the challenge too. We truly are in this together.”

In addition to Innovative, IOP is the parent company to several other leading brands, including HAT Contract, SiS Ergo, CompuCaddy and Ergotech. The brands design and manufacturer ergonomic products and height adjustable desk solutions for office, healthcare and other specialty workspaces. CompuCaddy is supporting the medical and healthcare communities by continuing to manufacture its full suite of medical carts.

The Lehigh Valley has been hard hit by the coronavirus. LVHN is still accepting product donations ranging from hand sanitizers and goggles to N95 masks and vinyl gloves. Companies or individuals with 3D printers looking to assist can download approved designs for face shield components at a special web page set up by LVHN to join in the fight against COVID-19. The 3D printed headbands and other supplies can be dropped off at any LVHN donation drop-off location. LVHN had made an initial request for 1,000 face shields.

LVHN is comprised of eight hospital campuses plus numerous health centers, physician practices, rehabilitation locations, ExpressCARE sites and other outpatient care locations in seven eastern Pennsylvania counties. More information is available at www.lvhn.org.