Bakersfield College has put its 3D printer from the industrial technology department to use, manufacturing hundreds of medically-approved face shields and other personal protective equipment for local frontline medical workers in need.
In a news release, the school said PPEs are running short nationwide and, in turn, locally. With that, professor Darren Willis has been using the 3D printer in the industrial technology department to print high-quality, reusable face shields. This week marks the first in around-the-clock production of the face shields, according to BC. The shields will be delivered to rural and small clinics facing dire shortages, BC said.
On Thursday, the school delivered masks to Clinica Sierra Vista Community Health Center, located on 34th Street in Bakersfield.
“These face shields will impart critical protection for healthcare providers until the U.S. supply chain can catch up with current needs,” Willis said in the news release. “The design has been set up and approved by medical professionals using durable materials. These face shield assemblies will be able to take sterilization from an autoclave, making them both safe and reusable.”
Added BC students David Silva-Perez: “I’m excited to be giving back to the community while having the opportunity to get real world work experience. We’re taking all necessary precautions to keep the workspace safe and keep ourselves healthy. I set up the printer in the afternoon, and then it runs for the next 24 hours printing shield after shield.”
The 3D printer can produce 20 face shields in a 24-hour period, BC said.
"We're grateful to Bakersfield College for answering the call to support our frontline healthcare heroes," Tim Calahan, spokesperson for Clinica Sierra Vista, said in the news release. "The national shortage of PPE has impacted our ability to receive new shipments. By making reusable masks here in town, Bakersfield College has given us a direct line to the supplies we need to protect our most vulnerable patients."