Digital Original: LR community uses 3D technology to create protective masks for hospital staff

Digital Originals

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – It’s all hands on deck as communities everywhere work together to help put an end to the coronavirus outbreak.

Volunteers help inside the UALR printing farm where 8 to 10 plastic face shields can be created every hour.

With health care workers in need of protective face masks, it’s becoming a team effort by community members that are using technology to help keep those on the front lines safe.

Dr. Larry Whitman, dean of the Donaghey College of Engineering and Information Technology at UALR, is one of the people helping to oversee the 3-D printing farm located at the university that is helping to bring the plastic protective face shields to the local hospitals and clinics.

The 3-D printers were provided by the Little Rock School District and community members are volunteering 24/7 to help ensure the masks are made and distributed.

For weeks now, Whitman and other community members have been looking at innovative ways to bring safe PPE(s) for hospital staff.

Whitman says it’s easy for the public to get involved – all they need is time and a 3-D printer.

“You’re wanting to help. Contact us and we will get you the file. I might mention though a little detail. The printer itself has to be bigger. So it has to be 200 millimeters by 200 millimeters. If you have a printer with a base that big get in touch with and we would like you to print for your local hospital,” says Whitman.

The design they created was approved by the CDC, with about 8 to 10 face shields being made every hour. Whitman says about 80 masks can be created in a day.

They are then donated to local various hospitals and clinics.

Already close to 300 plastic face shields have been donated to CHI St. Vincent in Little Rock.

Whitman says another aluminum prototype face shield is already being created that will be able to create anywhere from 1,000 to 2,000 masks in a day.

For more information on how you can help or get involved, click here.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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