School of Architecture Receives Grant to Produce PPE

By polly burks | 7/10/2020

Florida Atlantic University’s School of Architecture within the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters recently received a grant of $19,367 from the Community Foundation of Broward to purchase equipment to make face shields that are in high demand for the protection of frontline workers and first responders during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since March, Jeff Huber, AIA, interim director of the School of Architecture, and School faculty have worked to meet the growing demand for PPE. Huber and volunteers have produced 2,500 face shields at the School’s Fabrication Laboratory (FabLab) on the Fort Lauderdale campus. Up until now, the team has worked with two 3D printers, filament and transparency film purchased with school funds and monetary donations from faculty. This grant will allow for the purchase of four new 3D printers and supplies.

“The Ultimakers will be a game changer to mass produce larger parts of the headpieces that are currently being created at a slower and more costly rate on the existing printers,” said Huber. “We have the manpower, but this new equipment will mean many more face shields going to those who need it, not to mention serve the school and its students for years to come.”

Using an open source design from Cornell University, Huber made modifications based on user feedback to ensure more comfort in the “halo,” and created the application of a biodegradable 3D printed option, making the FAU shield hygienic and eco-friendly.

“Huber and the faculty at the School of Architecture continue to show tremendous leadership as they have adapted normal school operations to meet the evolving needs of the community during the pandemic,” said Michael Horswell, Ph.D., dean of the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters. “We are very thankful to the Community Foundation of Broward for their support of this vital mission.”

This grant has been provided by Community Foundation of Broward with support from The Humana Foundation. For more information, email