OSWEGO, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Two educators from SUNY Oswego are stepping up to help meet the region and State’s critical need for personal protective equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Faculty members Daniel Tryon of technology education and David Dunn of biological sciences are producing protective face shields for healthcare workers and first responders.
They teamed up with Tracy Fleming of CiTi BOCES to start production in late March.
Tryon says, “Obviously as the news of COVID-19 really started to hit home and some of these 3D printing initiatives started around the world we both started to pursue making this happen because we have some hardware here on campus that could be utilized for this.”
On the SUNY Oswego campus, Tryon is using 3D printers in Park Hall’s technology lab to print the frames and is cutting lenses out of polycarbonate. Dunn then takes the parts to finish and sterilize them in ovens in a Shineman Center lab.
“We kind of discovered that there was some activity over at CiTi BOCES, with Tracy Fleming and some makers space in Auburn, that was also getting on board so we formed this little group of folks that are kind of pursuing the same thing, how do we get as many of these face shields produced as possible,” Tryon says.
The team produced 185 shields as of April 1 but continues to ramp up production but has more than doubled production rates so far and should be able to produce close to 100 per day going forward.
“It’s something we can do, right. We’re doing it because we can,” he adds,
Fleming, a SUNY Oswego graduate and data coordinator for CiTi BOCES, was instrumental in starting the project and partnering with the Oswego County Health Department.
The ones being made at SUNY Oswego are being shared with the Oswego County Emergency Management office for dissemination to healthcare and first responder agencies, as well as to on-campus Health Services, University Police and the college’s agricultural and testing analysis laboratory at the Port of Oswego Authority.
Local industry partners Exelon and Novelis have stepped up to help with production. Exelon is providing 18 face shields per day, and growing, Tryon said, while Novelis has helped with providing filament.
Because maintaining material to continue manufacturing can be a challenge, participants are reaching out to those who might have 1.75 mm PLA filament to donate.
Those able to provide this kind of filament can email firstname.lastname@example.org.