By Deniz Yildirim
The Comsewogue School District is helping Stony Brook University in the fight against the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. Comsewogue found out about the project from David Ecker, a professor and director of iCREATE at Stony Brook University. Ecker was inspired by an article he read about a good samaritan producing face shields for a hospital upstate and thought if he could we do it with a 3D printer? He went out the next day with his wife to gather supplies from Joan Fabrics, Home Depot and Staples. He produced a sample face mask that was so impressive, Stony Brook University asked him to make five thousand more. That Sunday morning, Ecker met with his team at Stony Brook University.
“I designed stations; a station for inspecting the 3D-printed models, another for putting on the weather stripping, inserting the foam, cutting the elastic to size and finally adding the face shield.” Ecker said. “This process allows multiple people to work at the same time while still practicing social distancing.”
Comsewogue was excited to lend a helping hand by providing over 1,000 yards of filament, the material used to make the frame of the face shield. Comsewogue also delivered five of its MakerBot Replicators and 3D printers for Stony Brook to borrow for this project. Vincent Verdisco, an art educator for over 20 years who teaches Auto-CAD in several of his courses said, “it’s so rewarding to be able to help out during this crisis.”
Verdisco has been working with Ecker to help improve the mask designs for this project.
“Now more than ever we have to support one another and it’s nice to show my students the real-life application of what we study in my courses,” Verdisco said. A list of materials and links to the designs are available for free at https://nyinnovate.com/faceshields.
“It’s a great community effort and I am so thankful we can do this,” Ecker said. “We are doing what we love, innovating to help the front line medical professionals in any way possible.”
Other school districts or organizations want to lend their 3D Printers should contact [email protected]
Deniz Yildirim is a librarian at the Terryville Road Elementary School.