Local library uses 3D technology to make much needed PPE for healthcare workers

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The two printers are running 24/7 and are able to make a total of 16 face shield head-bands a day

SAN ANGELO, Texas — Workers at the Tom Green County Library are now helping provide critical personal protective equipment for medical personnel at Shannon Medical Center during the COVID-19 outbreak. The library’s 3-D printers are working around the clock to create the much-needed PPE’s.

“As soon as we heard that there was a shortage in our own community, we knew right away with the machines that we have that’s something not only that we could do, but that we should be doing,” said Amy Dennis, Community Relations Coordinator for the Tom Green County Library.

When the Tom Green County Library System was forced to close its doors due to the Coronavirus pandemic, workers decided to continue using their STEAM Central Makerspace to make much-needed personal protective equipment for the medical community.

“We were contacted by a coordinator in the medical community to make these because they knew we have the 3-D printers. We have two printers in the makerspace and we’re using those to make the head-bands that go on the face shields,” explained Dennis.

The two printers are running 24/7 and are able to make a total of 16 face shield head-bands a day.

The process is a community effort. Julie Raymond from “Art in Uncommon Places” gathered local businesses who are donating other materials, and community members who are assembling the face shields.

The library is also using sewing machines from the makerspace to create face masks. Sarah Hill, a retired San Angelo nurse provided the pattern for the masks that have been approved by local hospitals. The design helps extend the life of the face masks for workers who need to re-use them.

“We’re using our sewing machines, quilting cotton and elastic. They’re pleated and they have pockets with a mask insert. We teamed up with Sarah Hill, a retired labor and delivery nurse. She showed us a cool pattern that is a quilted cotton mask with an insertable pouch where you can place your mask that you have to use everyday. We are working with Shannon to make sure their nurses are covered. There’s also janitors, housekeeping and maintenance. Everybody has to be careful right now so having those masks for them is awesome,” continued Dennis.

Dennis added that community members who would like to help create face masks for healthcare workers can contact the TGC Library for supplies to do this. Completed prints can be dropped off at the library’s loading dock to be distributed.

The library is also helping the community in other ways. Makerspace iPads and recording equipment were lent to Angelo State University departments so that students can receive a quality education while the campus is closed.



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