New Trier High School Applied Arts staff members are using department 3D printers and laser cutters to make 500 face shields to donate to NorthShore University HealthSystem amid a national shortage of Personal Protective Equipment, or PPE, for medical workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic
"Our goal is to first produce and deliver face shields, and if we have enough material, we are looking to create respirators or face masks with filters," said Applied Arts Department Chair Jason Boumstein, who has been co-leading the project with fellow department members Paul Perez and Devan Castellano. "We are inspired to be part of the larger community producing and assembling face shields; together, we are creating the entire shield, from the 3D printed part, to the acrylic face shield, to the foam to make it comfortable.
After reading about the Johns Hopkins Health System's initiative involving national volunteers and suppliers creating face shields and assembling personal protection packs for clinicians, the group began 3D modeling and creating the face shields. The equipment is important for medical workers treating those infected with COVID-19 because it both can protect them from droplets and extend the life of masks worn beneath the shields.
"This pandemic has brought people around the world together sharing prototypes, such as Johns Hopkins, to contribute to solving challenges we are facing with Covid-19," Castellano said.
While practicing social distancing in New Trier's Applied Arts labs, Perez has been printing the parts using the school's Stratasys 3D printers, while Boumstein and Castellano help assemble the items.
We have a lot of passion for problem-solving and using high-tech equipment to communicate our thoughts," Perez added. "3D printing these parts is creating an immediate impact on the healthcare system."
All three have worked on modeling the parts, collaborating, making connections and establishing a safe and healthy production process.
"As a department our goal is to teach students to make a difference in the world, and we are looking to do that any way we can," Boumstein said. "We are fortunate to have the equipment and skill set to create products that will better the lives of others and our community. Together we believe this is a small part of giving back to individuals who are on the front line doing everything they can to save lives."
Boumstein said the team plans to donate the face-shields as soon as they have created 500 of them- hopefully in a week or so.
New Trier Township High School District 203 serves Chicago's North Shore suburban communities of Glencoe, Kenilworth, Wilmette and Winnetka, most of Northfield and parts of Glenview and Northbrook.