Many, including Stony Brook University, using 3D printers to help hospitals stock up on supplies

East Hampton Teacher Making Masks




 

East Hampton High School computer science coding teacher Urban Reininger with his face shield prototype. Independent/Urban Reininger

An East Hampton High School computer science coding teacher is helping hospitals by making face masks and shields.

Urban Reininger constructed them with the help of a 3D printer — a Creality 3D CR-10 from GearBest — and free design print to make it happen.

“The more we come together to help support the cause the stronger we are,” Reininger said.

He made his first face shield prototype using a 2-liter bottle of soda.

East Hampton High School computer science coding teacher Urban Reininger with a face mask he made.

“3D printing personal protective equipment shields to donate,” he wrote on Facebook, posting with the message a photo of his first prototype. “It needs a little work to make it faster to print.”

Reininger credits Prusia Printers for the design, and said the printer he’s using is able to handle bigger file sizes, unlike his former MakerBot Replicator 2 desktop 3D printer.

“I am looking to create a new file that might be faster and more compatible, and working on different designs,” he said, adding he’s now trying his models out with overhead projector transparencies. “I pack-ratted them away from the classroom teacher before me. They have a lot of life-hacker uses, but I never thought I’d use them for this.”

He also tried sewing his own face masks, joking he doesn’t think he has the sewing skill to make them quick enough, as part of a Pins and Needles’ Million Mask Challenge, a global sew-a-thon to support healthcare workers and those in need.

The teacher is planning to donate his face shields to Stony Brook Southampton Hospital to protect doctors and nurses from contracting COVID-19.

Stony Brook University’s iCREATE lab has also stepped up to help defend healthcare workers from the novel coronavirus using 3D printers.

Donations from Habitat for Humanity of Suffolk being delivered to Stony Brook University Hospital. Independent/Habitat for Humanity of Suffolk

iCREATE, a program under the Division of Information Technology, supports innovative technologies within Stony Brook University’s Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching to provide a hands-on environment of collaborative endeavors in order to spark creativity, innovation, and to ultimately redefine technological boundaries, engagement, creation, and innovation.

The face shields, Interim Senior Vice President and Enterprise CIO Charlie McMahon said, are medically compliant, being reviewed by hospital personnel.

“We are doing something positive to protect the health of the medical professionals that are helping the community,” McMahon said. “Being able to be a part of keeping our medical professionals safer is a really good feeling.”

The iCREATE team has also designed certain parts of these face shields to be replaceable so that medical personnel can change them out, allowing for a more sanitized product.

With current supplies, iCREATE is intending to make 800 face shields, and is currently in the process of procuring enough supplies to make up to 5000.

Donations from Habitat for Humanity of Suffolk being delivered to Stony Brook University Hospital. Independent/Habitat for Humanity of Suffolk

Bettina Fries, chief of infectious disease at Stony Brook Medicine, reached out to her neighbor, Agjah Libohova, who is the director of research and development and engineer of a local Suffolk plastics production company, and asked for his help. She gave him her face shield, and he made the first prototype that night.

Production with the company started last week, with Stony Brook being the first client.

“These face shields will make us feel safer and show that Stony Brook tries everything to keep health care professionals on the front line safe,” Dr. Fries said.

Members of the Habitat for Humanity of Suffolk staff also donated supplies to Stony Brook Hospital’s Trauma Unit.

They were greeted by the smiles and grateful hearts of hospital staff members as they delivered 200 masks and 1750 disposable coverall suits.

The masks were donated by Habitat for Humanity’s construction department and the disposable coveralls from Suffolk ReStore, the nonprofit’s donation center in Ronkonkoma, which previously received the supplies from Michael Mangiacapra of American Regent, a Division of Luitpold Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Suffolk ReStore also donated approximately 40 yards of fabric to be used to make homemade cloth masks for healthcare workers and staff. The fabric was previously donated to ReStore by Maharam, a textile company in Yaphank.

Donations are playing a critical role in helping Long Island’s brave and dedicated healthcare workers during a time where there is a large demand and huge shortage of medical supplies.

desiree@indyeastend.com