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SUPPORTING THE COMMUNITY DURING THE COVID19 PANDEMIC
Face Shields: Pictured above are face shields that John Carrell along with many other collaborators that joined together to create face shields for West Texas healthcare workers.
is supporting the collaborative effort to help those on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic: our healthcare workers.
Collaboration and customization underscores almost every aspect of additive manufacturing (3D-printing). We can see here, in our efforts to support the safety of our medical professionals, that collaboration and customization are at the heart of our efforts. 3D-printing is not a one man show, it requires engineers, artists, and medical professionals to work together to develop tools and equipment specific to the current demands of treating patients with the COVID-19 virus. The ability to design a custom face shield or design adaptive equipment to best utilize hospital ventilators are made possible by 3D-printing's ability to house a digital inventory, to print on demand, and to fabricate complex structures. We will never know exactly how many health care providers we have shielded from this aggressive disease, but we do know that many of us worked together for the betterment of our community and in the long run, that is the benefit of this current scourge.
Assembled from experts across many departments and specializations throughout the region, the West Texas 3D Printing COVID-19 Relief Consortium brings together organizations, businesses and individuals to provide necessary equipment and assistance to our health care workers on the front lines of COVID-19.
Our consortium prioritizes the needs of health care professionals who valiantly serve those living in 108 counties across the western half of the state. We are using innovative methods to produce personal protection equipment (PPE), ventilators and ventilator components that will be distributed to hospitals and health care systems in need throughout the region. Our ultimate goal: to meet the immediate health care needs of West Texas related to COVID-19 by coordinating university and business communities.
How do you 3D-print from home...?
Step 1: Figure out where to put the printer.
Step 2: Hope the filament doesn't fall off the shelf.
Step 3: Press Print.
In Lubbock and Odessa, we have been putting our 3D printers to good use.
The Methodology Lab in the Preston Smith Library on the TTUHSC Lubbock campus has been supporting the efforts behind West Texas 3D COVID-19 Relief Consortium by printing face shields.
The TTUHSC – Library of the Health Sciences at the Permian Basin has teamed up with UT Permian Basin, Odessa College, the UTPB Art Department, The Ellen Noel Art Museum, Midland College, Museum of the Southwest, West Texas businesses and 3D print enthusiasts to create what’s now called the “West Texas 3D COVID-19 Relief Consortium.” TTUHSC’s Regional Library Director, C. Erik Wilkinson, is putting their 3D printer to work on making face-shield parts, which are then dropped off for assembly at a local, Odessa church. Each entity has either donated their 3D printer or helped design and produce the medical equipment. Currently, there is enough material to make 350 face shields; more than 30 have been distributed so far