SA game store reusing 3D printers to make face shields for first responders

With doors closed due to COVID-19, store is making shields, respirators

Printed Meeple is making face-shields for those who need them during the coronavirus pandemic.
Printed Meeple is making face-shields for those who need them during the coronavirus pandemic. (Printed Meeple)

SAN ANTONIO – When 3D printers at a local game store stopped humming due to the coronavirus pandemic, business owners decided to put them to another use.

Printed Meeple is using its 3D printers and laser cutters — usually tasked to create fun gadgets — to make face shields and respirators, Toby Stewart, one of the owners, said in a news release.

This week, the business delivered 470 homemade face shields to the Bexar County Fire Department, which will then distribute them.

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Stewart says they make 150-200 items per day, and they have also mailed face shields to first responders in other states, local medical groups and the Bexar County Fire Marshal’s office.

"We will continue to give all the time, money and resources we can to provide help to those in need,” he said. “Right now we have materials to make about 1,500 more face shields and about 4,000 more respirators.”

Printed Meeple, located at 13032 Nacogdoches Road, closed its doors to the public under Mayor Ron Nirenberg’s executive order that closes nonessential businesses. A large portion of the company’s space is normally open for people to play board games.

This is a photo of Printed Meeple during a regular day, before the coronavirus pandemic. (Printed Meeple)

COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new virus, stands for coronavirus disease 2019. The disease first appeared in late 2019 in Wuhan, China, but spread around the world in early 2020, causing the World Health Organization to declare a pandemic in March.


About the Author:

Rebecca Salinas has worked as a digital journalist in San Antonio for six years. Her skills include content management, engagement and reporting.