Dusty Strings uses equipment to make face shields for Seattle hospital


Two ER workers wearing face shields provided by Dusty Strings (photo provided by Devin Rohrig)

Though harp maker Dusty Strings has been closed to customers since March 23 to comply with current orders issued by the state of Washington, they have been working behind the scenes to create face shields for hospital workers in the Seattle area. Using their 3D printer, laser cutter, and some transparency film, they are able to create one face shield in approximately one hour. With a team of dedicated volunteers working to build the protective equipment, they have donated about 900 shields as of April 22. A store employee and engineer, Bob Rhorig, has partnered with his son Devin, an ER nurse in the area, to help navigate demand outreach and deliver the product to essential workers in need.


On the Dusty Strings blog, they share,

“The feedback was overwhelmingly positive. The shields were comfortable, worked well, and were easy to sanitize and reuse, and Devin reported that his coworkers were really touched by the gesture of care, and beyond thrilled at the prospect of getting more shields. Within a couple of days, volunteers were piling onto the project, and we wound up with a whole network of Dusty employees, friends, and family who were printing the headbands on their home printers, sourcing the supplies, and working out socially–distanced delivery routines.”

Dusty Strings president and co–founder Ray Mooers says, “We’ll continue the effort until these items become available again through their general supply chains. Today we sent more shields to an ER and to some emergency dental offices as well as a batch of shields to some grocery store checkers who are feeling very vulnerable and afraid! I love to hear of these niche areas of need and feel that, even on our small scale of manufacture and supply, we can make a huge difference in people’s lives by making them feel more protected against the virus.” He emphasizes that all supplies are provided free of charge, and that the people who are helping build the shields are all donating both their time and materials.

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