Utilizing 3D printers to combat COVID-19
Since the COVID-19 pandemic first began, we have heard of the importance of supplying our front-line health care workers with personal protective equipment, and how quickly those items have become in short supply. Fortunately, Graham Greenhall, a self-proclaimed “3D printing nerd” and a Machinist instructor in SAIT’S School of Manufacturing and Automation, has started utilizing his personal 3D printers to create masks and face shields for Alberta Health Services.
Upon hearing about this shortage, Graham started researching the most efficient and effective designs, then came up with a plan and a goal to create 500 face shields and 500 face masks. Since the materials arrived, Graham and his wife Megan have been working around the clock to manufacture and assemble the 3D-printed masks and shields. To assist with the manufacturing costs — around $4 per item — Graham has launched a GoFundMe page with the hopes of raising $4,000. While financial assistance is appreciated, Graham insists that, “It’s not about the money, I just want to help out.”
Unfortunately, many of the materials needed to create these items are in short supply. Helping Graham to source the materials and build a dedicated production space is his colleague, Jim Szautner, the Dean of Manufacturing and Automation. The pair are working on a plan to utilize SAIT’s supplies and equipment with the hopes of operating out of a designated room that will be regularly sanitized to ensure product quality and cleanliness.
Of the materials required to make these items, ¼” and 1” braided elastic, presentation covers for face shields and printer filament are needed most. If you happen to know where Graham could source these materials, please reach out to him via email.
Find out more about SAIT’s everyday heroes — alumni, instructors and students using their skills to make a difference on the front lines. Visit sait.ca/bettertogether for more.