Some may think of 3D printing as a hobby. Others as a means of commerce. But, for a group of 3D printing enthusiasts in northeast Kansas, these skills helped meet a critical community need.
As the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the globe, municipalities and health care providers struggled to acquire the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) needed to keep citizens and workers healthy. It was at that point Peter Trull, Paola Free Library technology manager, stepped up to offer the assistance of 3D printed face shields and masks.
“The CDC and NIH had come out with recommendations about groups getting together and printing needed materials,” Trull said. “There was a group of us who already had access to 3D printers, and we saw an opportunity to get people what they needed to stay safe.”
The partnership began with a call to the local sheriff’s office, and was bolstered by a grant from the Kansas Health Foundation. Within weeks, more than a thousand shields and masks had been produced and distributed.
To learn more about this unique community effort, please view the Health Happenings video above.
Every month, our electronic newsletter, Health Happenings, features a story about a focus area, grant, partnership or program involving the Foundation.