3g Wireless Leverages 3D Printers To Help Manufacture Face Shields for Healthcare Workers Battling Coronavirus
The RF-services provider is producing shield holders nearly 24 hours a day
As the world continues to search for new technologies to battle the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, 3D printing has presented an alternative way to get vital personal protective equipment to healthcare workers during this time of crisis. Recently, when there was a call to all businesses in the Baltimore area to help with the manufacturing of face shields for hospital workers, doctors, and frontline medical personnel dealing with COVID-19, 3g Wireless snapped into action.
In addition to being an RF-services provider to the sports-broadcast industry, 3g Wireless is an engineering-design, development, and manufacturing company with rapid-prototype 3D-printing capabilities. Working from home, 3g Mechanical Engineer Sean Owings was able to use one of the company’s 3D printers to start printing face-mask shield holders. 3g is now making as many as possible to help support the cause, donating the time and materials.
3g custom-manufactures and integrates many innovations for the broadcast industry. For example, Owings was the engineer who designed 3g’s Line To Gain Pylons, in-car camera systems, and many other products deployed by broadcasters for major sports events.
On Monday, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan issued an order for all non-essential businesses to close. 3g was part of that order and provided a number of its employees, including Owings, the ability to work from home. To push forward many of 3g’s current innovation and development projects from home, Owings brought home several rapid-prototype/3D printers.
When he saw a story on local news outlet WBAL about the need for face-mask shield holders, he immediately began printing shield holders using the 3D printing equipment.
3gis working with We the Builders, which is partnering with local organizations Open Works and Innovation Works in Baltimore to coordinate the supply chain, production, and delivery of the protective face shields.
“The Makers Unite collaboration has been a meaningful way for 3g to use our resources to help support our frontline healthcare workers,” says Owings. “We want to help in any way possible.”
In terms of the manufacturing process, the headbands that 3g is printing are made from PETG and take approximately five hours each. Open Works Baltimore is making the clear shield and completing final assembly. 3g is running its 3D printers as close to 24 hours a day as possible.
“3g is fully supportive of this effort by Sean,” says Gordon Capaccio, director, marketing and business development, 3G Wireless. “We are always looking for ways to help our local community, and this was a no-brainer. We will make as many as we can to help fill the goal of 1,000 units.”
Capaccio encourages other companies with access to 3D printers to find ways in which they can serve the community during this crisis. “I am sure there are other local efforts that people can find in their area to help if they have a 3D printer at their disposal.”