Campus alert status is green: For the latest UMMS campus alert status, news and resources, visit

Search Close Search


School of Medicine student produces face shields for frontline staff using 3-D printer

After losing her grandmother to COVID-19, Emily Chin works to protect caregivers

By Kylee Denesha

UMass Medical School Communications

June 10, 2020
Emily Chin

Rising second-year School of Medicine student Emily Chin has produced nearly 200 plastic face shields for health care workers, a labor of love inspired by her late grandmother, Yuk Yip Wu, who died at age 95 from COVID-19 on April 10. Chin said she was able to be with her grandmother when she was sick and realized firsthand the importance of PPE for health care workers.

“When she was diagnosed with COVID and passed away, I had such a strong connection to the initiative,” Chin said. “After spending five days in the hospital as her Chinese medical interpreter, I understood the importance of going into a room and feeling completely protected and safe. I realized how much of an impact these face shields make for the wellness and safety of the providers.”

“As a medical student, I felt an eagerness to help our community and our health care providers who are doing the best they can with limited resources,” she said.

Using a three-dimensional printer on loan from her partner’s architecture firm, RODE Architects, she can produce nearly 15 per day. To make a shield, she uses the printer to manufacture the head frame, then connects plastic sheets that she purchases herself.

“It takes about one hour and seven minutes for the machine to create one shield,” said Chin. “I keep it running throughout the day, even in the hours I’m sleeping.”

The shields are distributed by Chin and the Hahnemann Family Health Center. They have been delivered to staff at UMass Memorial Medical Center, the former DCU field hospital and nursing homes in Worcester and Brookline.

“I feel the need to participate,” Chin said. “I made it a priority help to make sure other health care providers who are out there fighting have an extra layer of protection.”

Chin plans to keep producing the face shields until the materials become scarce or until the need is no longer present.

“I think one of the more important things UMass has taught me is to be an active and reliable member of the community,” she said. “I feel strongly about contributing and helping my fellow health care workers serve other people in need.”