All the help that’s fit to print.

By: Jessica Bonardi

V teamers bring their 3D printers to the fight against COVID-19.

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3D printers have the power to create amazing things like prototypes, tools, even prosthetics. Now, these printers are producing face shields to help our healthcare heroes stay safe and healthy on the front lines. V Teamers from all over stepped up to do their part in producing this important protective gear for those who need it most.

Face visors

Driven by their personal drive to protect family and friends on the front lines, DMTS Derek Ohlarik teamed up with Technology Manager Sanjeev Gupta to print visors used in face masks. Sanjeev enlisted the help of K-12 students in the Livingston Robotics Club. The robotics club is keeping the printer online 24/7 in an effort to make 12 visors per day with 350 masks assembled and distributed throughout the New York-New Jersey metro area.

Associate Technology Fellow Tim Bennington-Davis, who works with the systems and maintenance engineering team in Ashburn, VA, is getting his robotics club involved. “A dozen high school students working with 3D printers in the safety of their home can produce about 100 masks in a week. Adult mentors like myself do the final assembly and distribution,” explains Tim. “It shows how the volunteer duties of V-Teamers can quickly transform into an alliance of high school students ready to help those in our community at risk.”

Cris Pierry, who works in project management for Verizon Media, has been running his personal 3D printer in his Sunnyvale home for 24 hours a day producing face shields and face masks. His local group recently delivered 475 face shields to medical facilities in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The printing instructions for the face shield can be found here.

Headband part

Field Engineer Tony Bruno printed a small piece for face masks worn by hospital staff that holds the elastic off the back of the ears for a more comfortable fit.

“I received a call from my brother Al Bruno who works at the Vassar Hospital in Poughkeepsie, NY,” remembered Tony. “He was wondering if I could help. I set my printer to work. The first small batch was delivered the next morning to everyone’s delight.”

Will Kalman, who works in client services management out of Irvine, CA, rallied his community to raise funds for materials and for an increasing number of volunteers using their home 3D printers to make the headband part.

“I’ve gotten together with a couple other makers and some local businesses to make face shields for local hospitals who have none and are in desperate need,” reports Will. “In fact, these hospitals have told us they were planning on taping overhead projector film to their faces in lieu of proper shields. Yikes!”

The design for the headband piece is available here.

Thank you for everyone contributing to this incredible grassroots effort. To find ways how you can get involved, check out the volunteer site.

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