Covid-19 has created a high demand for personal protection equipment, or PPE, and many healthcare facilities have struggled to keep adequate inventories of basic items, like face masks and disposable gloves. Montgomery Catholic Preparatory School computer science teacher Mindy Walski has volunteered her time with Montgomery Fighting Covid, a local group made up of volunteers who have 3D printers to help to provide some much-needed PPE for local hospitals and clinics.
“Basically, what they need right now is face shields,” said Walski. “The piece that I am printing is the plastic piece at the top that holds the shield in place.”
The face shields consist of two parts: a clear plastic shield that blocks droplets and a headpiece that attaches to the clear shield and allows the it to be worn. The shields are worn along with traditional face masks and help to add an extra layer of protection and prevent droplet contact with the eyes.
“Each piece takes about an hour to print, so hopefully we will be able to get 8 to 10 masks per day,” said Walski. “We bought another printer, so we should be able to print two at a time.”
Because there are many different people helping the effort, the files for the 3D printing project are distributed by Montgomery Fighting Covid, along with a list of preferred printing materials, to help standardize the production. The organization also handles the assembly and sanitization of the masks, and will distribute them to hospitals and clinics who need PPE the most in our community.