Napier Library is playing its part in the war against Covid-19 in answering an SOS to 3D print face shield frames.

Community engagement librarian manager Holly Weston has come to the rescue of 3D printer manufacturer MindKits.

"The library already had the materials, filament, software and printer so all I needed to do was set it up at home and start printing," says Weston in supporting a "great initiative". "We've never been asked to print medical equipment before but as face shields are in short supply, it made sense to help out in this small way."

With each frame taking up to three hours to make, she is capable of turning out up to four a day.

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"Once I have about 40 they'll get couriered to MindKits for distribution around the country," she says.

Weston adheres to strict hygiene during the process. She washes her hands with antibacterial soap, wears glasses, gloves and a face mask. Finished products are kept separately. The printer has been placed in a sterilised space, away from the main area of her house and devoid of people.

3D printing is a service the library offers to the community.

"Our 3D printer is a great education tool," she says. "We've been doing holiday programme workshops where kids can use software and learn how to create various objects such as bookmarks, bag tags and phone stands."

Further information is on the library's website. Anyone can access the service when not under lock down.

The service costs 30c a gram for the public. Moulding a phone holder, for example, will cost about $6.

Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website