Amid the COVID-19 pandemic is the concern over limited protective gear for those on the front lines. Alderson Broaddus University Class of 2007 graduate Douglas Jones and his wife Kelly Marie have taken matters into their own hands and are using technology to help.
“We saw a need that needed to be filled,” said Jones. “Everything that we can do to help slow the spread can lessen the severity of the incline in cases.”
Doug graduated from AB with a degree in computing and concentrations in software engineering and information technology. Using a 3D printer, he and his wife have spent many sleepless nights creating face shields for healthcare professionals and first responders. When the printing process is done, the full shield is assembled with elastic, clips, and replaceable transparent sheets.
The design came from a 3D printing company based in Prague, Czech Republic called Prusa Research and has been slightly modified to US Customary Units of measurement.
The face shield protects the face by limiting aerosol and splatter exposure from the front and above. It is a supplementary face shield created as an emergency action to provide backup personal protective equipment (PPE) options if the standard PPE is unavailable. The device exceeds recommendations by the National Institute of Health and has gone through a special verification process expedited strictly for the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The biggest hurdle has been time,” explained Jones. “It came to the point that there was an extreme need for supplies. The printer is not fast enough, and I modified the design to make production more efficient.”
Jones is again modifying the design to streamline the production process further and provide additional protection. Since production began, more than 500 shields have been completed, 300 shields have been delivered to local healthcare providers, hospitals, and nursing homes, and an additional 1,900 will be prepared and donated.
About Alderson Broaddus University
Alderson Broaddus (AB) University is a private, four-year institution of higher education located on a historic hilltop in Barbour County in Philippi, West Virginia. Since its founding in 1871, AB has been a leader and innovator in higher education, with accolades in the health and natural sciences.
The mission of AB is to provide students with the highest quality education, striving to prepare students to succeed in their chosen disciplines and to fulfill their roles in a diverse society as well-rounded and responsible citizens.
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