GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Medical staff across the nation are running low on supplies, like masks to protect themselves while caring for those with coronavirus.
A group of 3D printing lovers in Green Bay have banded together to do their part to help medical workers here on the front lines.
“It doesn’t really surprise me when someone comes up with an idea what we can turn that idea into,” says Chris Higgins.
And just like a 3D printer, five people in Green Bay are turning an idea into a reality.
Two of them are Tom Rueckl and Chris Higgins, creating 1,200 medical shields within a matter of weeks.
The bands for the shields are being created from a few small 3D printers, which can make two bands at a time and then one big printer.
“I’m able to put out about 20 per day and others that are involved are probably doing about 20 per day,” says Rueckl. “So in order for us to get to that 1,200 number is going to be a task.”
The bigger printer, which will run you about $50,000, can make about six bands at a time, but takes eight hours.
The process is simple, but tedious.
“We started with a part design that was already out there, it was provided through the Prusa Printing Network and it’s a part for a headband,” says Higgins. “I downloaded the individual parts, the software takes care of optimizing, each layer of the printer lays out a bead of plastic and it just keeps working and it builds its way up until it builds the final product.”
The plexiglass for the shields will be provided by NEW Plastics in Luxemburg and cut by LaserForm in Green Bay.
Several teams banding together to help those protecting us all.
“We have these printers sitting around our houses and we make all sorts of fun little things normally,” says Rueckl. “But this is a way that we, we being a 3D printing community, can really do something to help here, that was the total motivation here.”
If you own a 3D printer and want to help make bands for the medical shields, click here.