HELPING: Here’s how engineers are making PPE at Nucor in West Seattle

As reported here on Wednesday, Gov. Inslee is asking Washington manufacturers to turn their expertise and capabilities to items desperately needed to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. We learned that one local company already has jumped in – Nucor Steel in West Seattle is making face shields with 3D printers – 20 so far, and gearing up to be able to make 100 a week. We spoke Wednesday afternoon with Nucor’s Patrick Jablonski, who has just sent photos and more information.

They are doing it with “both on-site and employee-owned additive manufacturing (3D printing) capability. Nucor Seattle engineers who specialize in additive manufacturing researched “needs, tested designs, and optimize Nucor-owned hardware in addition to their personal 3D printers at home. Currently, the effort is focused on producing National Institutes of Health-approved face shields for medical workers and frontline caregivers. Nucor is now printing holders for these face shields and has purchased plastic and straps under the guidelines issued by the NIH. Nucor is also researching and designing various forms of respirator components that can be fitted with household media such as coffee and vacuum filters.”

Once they came up with the idea, Jablonski told us, it only took about a week to formulate a plan. Now, they are working on optimizing production to 100 shields a week, and then might be able to increase the production rate.

The first 20 masks were donated to Providence Mount St. Vincent in West Seattle (which recently announced its first COVID-19 case). Jablonski says, “The Nucor Seattle team is continuing to reach out to local health care providers to learn about additional needs and design concepts.” Nucor also has donated extra PPE to local medical centers, including hundreds of N95 dust masks, and nitrile gloves.

31 Replies to "HELPING: Here's how engineers are making PPE at Nucor in West Seattle"

  • J April 2, 2020 (11:57 am)

    Thank you Nucor!

  • Alice April 2, 2020 (12:02 pm)

    Is there a contact at Nucor for this project?I have a 3D printer at home so I can print the head part, but I don’t have the clear face shield or the straps.Can I donate the printed part so that Nucor can do the assembly?-Alice

  • bolo April 2, 2020 (12:06 pm)

    Kudos to the ingenuity and initiative of the American people!

  • Cathy Powers April 2, 2020 (12:08 pm)

    Nucor rocks!!! Ingenuity has no bounds! What incredible people.

  • annika April 2, 2020 (12:13 pm)

    That’s wonderful!  Thank you , Nucor Steel for helping out our community and those on the medical front lines.

  • The Velvet Bulldog April 2, 2020 (12:39 pm)

    Thank you NUCOR! You ALWAYS step up for community.

  • Donna, The Whale Trail April 2, 2020 (12:57 pm)

    Now that’s stepping up! Whale-sized thanks to everyone at Nucor. Generosity like this is how we will get through.

  • Sandy April 2, 2020 (1:03 pm)

    Who would’ve thought a steel mill could make  face masks and shields made from plastic? Big heart shout-out to Nucor and its clever engineers for helping our caregivers and our community!

  • Sandy Adams April 2, 2020 (1:09 pm)

    Nucor has always been a VERY community- minded organization.  This is another great example!  They support so many of our non-profit organizations–West Seattle Chamber of Commerce, ArtsWest, Southwest Youth and Family Service, Food Bank, etc. etc.  We are very fortunate that they are in our neighborhood.  Thank you, Nucor.

  • Xman April 2, 2020 (1:12 pm)

    Thank you Nucor. Keep fighting the good fight ❤️

  • Tracie April 2, 2020 (1:26 pm)

    And they lit up their giant Christmas star last night, which we can see from our house. Touching. 

  • Tami April 2, 2020 (1:42 pm)

    So thankful for these wonderful creative innovative people in our community!!! Way to go Nucor!

  • NativetoSeattle April 2, 2020 (1:50 pm)

    Thank you, Nucor!

  • nf April 2, 2020 (3:14 pm)

    NUCOR showing once again what  a great asset of the neighborhood they are (and to West Seattle). Thanks!

  • Jennie April 2, 2020 (3:20 pm)

    This is amazing – thank you Nucor!

  • JAndress April 2, 2020 (3:38 pm)

    I’ve started cranking these out as well and have enough material to make maybe 1000 of them?  I just don’t yet know how to distribute them.

    • CAM April 3, 2020 (2:04 am)

      According to another post from WSB, you’re asked to do the following: “So he’s asking “all businesspeople, all skilled workers, all leaders” to ask themselves if they could “change what they’re making now” and instead make what’s needed. “This is a moment that counts.” If you can, go to and sign up to help.”

    • Daniel Ness April 4, 2020 (7:53 pm)

      Just email me we have so many request for the shields and we have all the bands and shields to complete the assembly you rock thank you for helping Hero’s if you want to drop off the frames just do so at our guard shack with my name on the box or bag. My team is happy to get these to who truly needs them at no cost to anyone 

  • 22blades April 2, 2020 (4:31 pm)

    Thank you NUCOR!!!

  • Michael Dey April 2, 2020 (4:46 pm)

    Bravo to Nucor!!  Such a great story and such a public service.  Nucor does so many good things for Seattle/West Seattle.   Great neighbors!  Thank you again.  

  • Drew April 2, 2020 (5:00 pm)

    Thank you Nucor for always being great neighbors :)

  • Greengirl April 2, 2020 (10:10 pm)

    Thanks Nucor! W.S. High also has printing equipment. Not sure how to get that going, but it would be a great use of unused resources right now. Many businesses have sewing machines for masks and other P.P.E.’s. I wonder if Chief Sealth does as well. Folks would have to suit up to do the job. 

    • aNucorDude April 3, 2020 (3:44 pm)

      Contact Dan Ness at the email provided and he’ll forward your info to the engineers and they’ll get you the print files and other pertinent info.  

    • Daniel Ness April 4, 2020 (7:57 pm)

      We are working with other school districts right now. They have been amazing they have helped us double production. The more that can help the better. This is not a sprint it is a marathon we are looking forward to the next potential needs.

  • WiseWoman April 3, 2020 (4:25 am)

    Now that is true innovation! Way to go Nucor!

  • Chris April 3, 2020 (6:53 am)

    Jandress, Dan Ness provided his email in the third comment, he would probably be a good contact for distribution 

  • sam-c April 3, 2020 (3:47 pm)

    Nucor has ALWAYS been a company that steps up to help their West Seattle Community.  Thank you Nucor !!

  • msmeadows April 3, 2020 (5:43 pm)

    Thank you, NUCOR engineers and management for yet another effort to help.our West Seattle community!

  • Marcy Johnsen April 4, 2020 (1:38 pm)

    Thank you Nucor, helping our community coming together!

  • Ellen B West April 12, 2020 (10:08 am)

    Thanks to everyone at Nucor! You are part of what makes West Seattle a great place to live!Ellen

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