Odyssey Charter School Computer Science teacher Sani Chalima thought it might be a good idea to bring the school’s 3D printer home with her when schools closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Not long after she settled into her new remote-working routine, Chalima heard about a multi-school project involving the production of personal protective equipment (PPE) for medical personnel using 3D printers. Turns out, that project was spearheaded by none other than the son of a colleague at Odyssey Charter (OCS).
That young man, Yianni Jannelli had already launched the coordinated mass production of hundreds of face shields with other area public schools and was delighted the school where his mother worked would be taking part.
Jannelli provided technical support to all of his ‘engineers.’
OCS Board members chip in to fund production of face shields
With financial support from the school, Chalima and her family have turned their family room into a 3D printing workshop and have produced 50 medical-quality face shields and ear savers for health care workers.
Once the pieces were printed, Jannelli teamed up with Chalima to assemble the pieces and create the finished product. Chalima then delivered her first batch of equipment to grateful staff at ChristianaCare in Elkton, MD, in May 15th.
The shields will be worn by both patients, too. “Face shields are vital: they create a physical barrier between the droplets a patient produces when they cough or sneeze, and the face and respirator itself. The shields also protect the face masks that doctors and nurses wear over their nose and mouth,” said Chalima.
Because the need for PPE for health care workers continues, Chalima is working on a second batch that will be combined with items created by others and delivered to Nemours / A.I. duPont Hospital for Children.
UD Engineering students devise special face masks for high-risk people
Over at the University of Delaware, UD College of Engineering students have also come up with their own 3D production of protective face masks. But these ‘higher respiratory’ masks are specially designed for high-risk members of the general public and are a safer alternative to sewn cloth masks and bandannas.
UD has partnered with major domestic manufacturers and community organizations to manufacture and distribute 30,000 of their unique HensNest Face Masks to members of the community. All 30,000 will be distributed in Delaware to address a shortage of local supply.
HensNest Face Masks works with any filter material
The HensNest was invented by the UD College of Engineering’s Department of Mechanical Engineering. The HensNest Face Mask features a reusable wireframe design that conforms tightly to the face and is used with replaceable, at-home filter materials, such as shop towels, tea towels and tote bags.
Depending on the type of filter media that is used, the HensNest face mask provides four to 20 times the protection of surgical masks or sewn face masks.
The masks are intended for use by medically at-risk individuals, their caretakers, or individuals who are at high exposure risk to coronavirus (COVID-19), such as grocery store workers and delivery persons.
NegriBossi (New Castle) and Stratasys Corp (Minneapolis) are together producing 30,000 HensNest face mask frames at no cost. And Procter and Gamble (Dover,) and WB Mason (Newark) have donated goods for packaging.
Donate Delaware, a local nonprofit organization, registered as a 501(c)(3), is packaging and distributing the face masks, with Little Goat Coffee (Newark) and The Journey Church (Newark) serving as local distribution centers.