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West Orange Times & Observer Wednesday, Apr. 15, 2020 1 month ago

Melrose Center delivers 3D-printed PPE to Orlando Health

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Staff from Orange County Library System’s Melrose Center connected with local maker groups to 3D-print critical personal protective equipment and delivered face-shield visors to Orlando Health.

Staff from Orange County Library System’s Melrose Center connected with local maker groups to 3D-print critical personal protective equipment and delivered face-shield visors to Orlando Health.

In late March, the Melrose Center’s Fab Lab team began investigating ways it could 3D print personal protective equipment for health care professionals. Working with files provided freely by Budmen Industries, a company that designs and sells 3D printers, staff started printing visors from home using 3D printers and supplies borrowed from the Melrose Center’s Fab Lab, a makerspace that offers hands-on classes and equipment for DIY projects. 

“The Melrose Center’s Fab Lab team is really happy to be able to join the maker community’s efforts to help our health care workers,” said Jim Myers, department head of the Dorothy Lumley Melrose Center for Technology, Innovation and Creativity. “They are a focused and energized bunch, and glad to be in a position to make a small difference. I’m really proud of them.”

Using supplies at his home makerspace, Fab Lab instructor Harold Singh began the initial process of printing the parts. With the help of his daughter, who works in the ICU, he delivered them to Orlando Health. At the same time, Fab Lab Instructor Yesenia Arroyo connected with the Central and South Florida chapters of the nonprofit Open Source COVID-19 Medical Supplies, a group working to connect makerspaces with medical professionals in need around the world. Soon after, the group received information from Orlando Health with details on what equipment could be accepted and work began. Arroyo and fellow Fab Lab Instructors Jennifer Michalicek and Frank Mackey each took home a 3D printer, filament and other supplies from the Fab Lab. 

Melrose Center staff now has four printers creating face shield parts, which take about two hours each to complete. Singh has also created a rubber mold of the visor frame and can produce an additional four per hour using liquid acrylic. 

So far, there have been 41 visors printed, all of which are ready for delivery to Orlando Health for final assembly and sterilization.

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