A Shady Side Academy Senior School teacher and four students are doing their part to support health care workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic by 3D printing personal protective equipment (PPE) and are seeking others in the community to get involved.
Glimcher Tech & Design Hub Director Jesse Robinson, SSA juniors Stephanie Chen, Andrew Liu and Nick Zana, and Fox Chapel junior Tyler Weinberger, who previously attended SSA Middle School, have partnered with 3D Printing Pittsburgh (3DPPGH), a grassroots organization of local 3D printing enthusiasts, on the project. The students introduced the effort to the Senior School student body
The group is using four 3D printers from the Glimcher Tech & Design Hub's Fabrication Lab, which have been moved to Robinson's on-campus home, and a 3D printer in Zana's home to fabricate face shield head bands and tension release bands for surgical masks using NIH-approved, open-source designs from 3DPPGH. Robinson's wife also created a video tutorial for sewing cloth face masks at home.
Once the materials are produced, the group delivers them to a 3DPPGH drop box, and 3DPPGH assembles and distributes the PPE to local first responders and health care workers.
The idea for the project originated with Zana. "I saw people from the 3D printer and maker community around the world getting together and supporting the health care workers on the front lines," he said. "I mentioned it to Stephanie, and the idea snowballed into this project."
"If everything goes as planned, we are set to print 5,000 face shields and bands, so we would love to have the community's support," said Chen.
There are several ways to get involved in the project:
- If you have a 3D printer at home, you can donate your time to help print PPE.
- If you have a sewing machine at home, you can sew cloth face masks.
- If you have access to PLA 3D printing filament, PETG plastic, or cloth or elastic material for face masks, you can donate it.
- You can make a monetary donation to the 3DPPGH GoFundMe.
- You can spread the word about the project to others who may be able to help!
To get involved, contact one of the students or email Mr. Jesse Robinson.