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Six CUNY campuses use 3D printing technology to produce personal protective equipment

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Six CUNY schools are manufacturing headbands, face shields and other personal protective equipment using 3D printers to reduce the risk of infection for healthcare workers fighting COVID-19, or the novel coronavirus.

Laser-cut biodegradable plastic face shields and frames, akin to the PPE used in New York City hospitals, were created by campus 3D printers from the City College of Technology, Bronx Community College, Queensborough Community College, LaGuardia Community College, City College of New York and the CUNY Graduate Center, according to AMNY.

“There is no greater cause at the moment, and we are proud to stand with New York City and do what we can to help those on the front lines of the war against COVID-19,” said CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez.

Designers, researchers and educators from City College’s architecture, chemistry, traditional medicine and engineering departments created the necessary 3D fabrication technologies under the coordination of Director Translational Medicine Master’s Degree Program at the Grove School Of Engineering Jeffrey Garanich, Associate Professor and Director of the J. Max Bond Center for Urban Futures at the Spitzer School of Architecture Shawn Rickenbacker and Associate Professor of Biophysics Ronald Koder.

The National Institute of Health approved the plastic PPE designs by City College’s 3D printers before moving the printers in March to Hack Manhattan, a nonprofit technology firm that produces PPE for the NYCMakesPPE organization.

LaGuardia Community College contributed to the coronavirus-fighting effort by donating spools of biodegradable plastic that can be used by 3D printers to manufacture more PPE.

The 14 3D printers at City College can produce 300 plastic headband frames every day, exceeding the seven 3D printers that produce 200 face shields at Bronx Community College.

This month, Queensborough plans on producing more than 100 face shields from their single 3D printer. The community college is collaborating with SUNY Stony Brook University to laser cut special plastic sheets to create 5,000 face shields, according to CCC news.

The $1.5 million CUNY grant awarded to QCC in 2014 allowed for the installations of the 3D printers on its campus, permitting students to create real-world solutions to real-world problems.

The grant has also aided QCC to produce 3D anatomical models and custom surgical tools to New York hospitals and other medical organizations in the past.

“We are pleased to be able to make a difference by providing safety equipment that is critically important for those who are putting their lives on the line every day in the fight against coronavirus,” said President of Queensborough Community College Dr. Timothy G. Lynch.

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