COVID-19 PPE Production Team
Partners on the Project
MedWish has partnered with our group on this project. The Kent State PPE Production Team will be donating everything we produce to MedWish. Any local agency can then request these (and other) supplies through their request form.
MedWish is not charging any fees for supplies related to COVID-19 requests.
Introduction & Description of Actions to 3D Print and/or Produce PPE’s For Local Healthcare Services
During these unprecedented times, we would like to share with you one way Kent State University is responding to the COVID-19 crisis. As you are probably aware there is acute need for personal protective equipment (PPE) by all levels of the healthcare network and the Design Innovation network is addressing this need in the following way:
The Design Innovation network of makerspaces has the capacity to quickly react to the local and critical need for PPE on the ground in our communities. Their hope is to continue to build on this capacity to prototype, print, cut and produce much more in the future. Local healthcare and first responders have shared that local entities have a disadvantage in that when they run out of PPE, they must float their need up to the county, the state, and eventually to the federal level depending on availability, which can be a time-consuming and onerous process. By supplying the local entities with more PPE than may be needed, it is easier and quicker to distribute those supplies “upward” than it is to wait for the trickle down of supplies from the top levels of government.
J.R. Campbell (DI) is helping to coordinate a team that currently consists of about 25 people working on this collectively on the Kent, Stark and Tuscarawas Campuses. Hilary Kennedy (Library Makerspaces), Rick Ferdig (EHHS), Chris Woolverton (CPH) and Kevin Pospichel (CAED) have been leading the prototyping, modification and testing of open-source designs as well as collaboration with College of Aeronautics & Engineering and the College of Nursing.
Working with local first responders (including Kent City Fire), the team will be utilizing the 3D printing and laser-cutting resources that already in place at Kent State to produce much-needed and increasingly scarce PPE for local first responders including face shields and face masks.
We are currently testing/modifying prototypes and template files from Columbia University, which has been working to produce PPE for New York City hospitals.
Over the next 2 days, we are designing and testing new types of 3D printed headbands for a quicker print time (currently 3hrs per headband). Reducing print time will increase the volume production.
Dr. Chris Woolverton (Public Health) is simultaneously working to investigate reuse of the PPE they produce, running tests to determine a process for safely reusing masks and face shields (if one exists).
We are still in the testing phase, with hopes to solidify plans and processes early in the week of March 30.
Our goals are to at least produce 300 shields and 300 masks as a pilot run with plans to produce many more as supplies are available
Limited workforce in running the printers is a current obstacle for which they are sourcing solutions. If you have access to a 3D printer or similar tools and would like to assist in Kent State’s efforts, please see the information under the "WANT TO HELP?" section.