3D printing of face shields for healthcare providers
By Terri Wiebold; photos courtesy of DCSD and Kyler Barker
Local teachers and the Douglas County School District (DCSD) are joining in to help augment the supply of protective face shields needed for healthcare providers treating those with COVID-19.
Career and Technical Education (CTE) engineering teacher at Rock Canyon High School, Kyler Barker, along with the CTE teachers for Castle View, Legend and Mountain Vista high schools, have joined forces to supply protective face shields to healthcare providers at Sky Ridge Medical Center using 3D printers.
“My wife Tacy is a labor and delivery nurse at Sky Ridge, and several of the other CTE teachers have personal connections to doctors and staff at the hospital, so the plan was to do what we could to help them out,” said Barker. “We came up with the idea of the protective face shield because they are relatively easy to make, and a lot of the different departments and floors in the hospital use them.”
Using schematics for the specific face shield recommended by Sky Ridge, DCSD and the four teachers pooled resources and were able to provide roughly 100 masks to the hospital. “Thankfully, I have my printer at my home office for online classes right now and I was able to print them here,” said Barker. “It took me about an hour and 47 minutes to print just one!” According to Barker, the other teachers have higher speed printers and some were able to print three or four at a time. Within a matter of just three days from concept to delivery, the masks were complete.
Barker said he video chats with his students once a week and he is excited to share this experience with them. “This is a perfect example of how the things they are learning in school translate to real-life applications.”
Sky Ridge Medical Center will first disinfect and sterilize the masks before putting them into use.
“We are deeply humbled by the outpouring of love and support from our community,” responded Vice President of Marketing Linda Watson. “Thank you to the Douglas County School District for their creative engineering of these face shields. We are so proud to partner with you and are grateful for this gift.”