It was around mid-March when emergency medical workers began issuing dire warnings they were quickly running out of protective gear to keep them safe while treating coronavirus patients.
So when Christine Flynn, a teaching assistant at Memorial Junior High School, saw on television that equipment like 3D printers could be used to quickly and inexpensively produce some of the necessary protective gear, she jumped on the idea of ââusing school facilities to create facials. shields to give and contacted district administrators, who gave him the green light.
Working alongside Christopher Viggiano, a technology and engineering instructor at Memorial, together they were able to produce 86 reusable transparent face shields, which were handed over to nurses at Mount Sinai South Nassau Hospital and emergency medical technicians. of the FDNY.
“It was sort of a crush and seizure operation,” Viggiano said, noting that shortly after buildings in the district were closed due to the outbreak, it was unclear what access they would have to the facilities. school. Using an open source 3D printer design for a shield he found on the web, he installed five printers at Memorial to produce ten shield frames each, then did the same for the five printers at South High School. , where he is also a teacher. . Six hours later, they returned to collect the printed items and Viggiano said they spent the next two to three days attaching the transparent part of the shield – laser cut also in school facilities – to the frames.
One of the big advantages of all-plastic 3D printed shields, Viggiano said, was that they could be reused, while standard shields have fabric parts that can wear out after just one use.
When finished, Flynn handed over some of the shields to a friend who works as EMT FDNY, and they in turn distributed them to their colleagues. Viggiano, whose brother’s girlfriend works as a nurse in Mount Sinai South Nassau, did the same, and she distributed them among the people working in her ward.