Middle Tennessee State University is answering the medical community’s call for more personal protective equipment.
At the behest of Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, MTSU and other universities are putting their 3D printers to work to make desperately needed personal protective equipment, or PPE, for shipping to the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency.
Doctors, nurses, hospitals and clinics have been clamoring for face masks, goggles, gloves and other equipment to keep health care providers safe as they treat people infected with the rapidly spreading COVID-19 virus.
Makerspace, a section of MTSU’s James E. Walker Library, houses equipment that ordinarily is used to help students complete technological projects for their classes. Students are continuing their classes remotely because of the coronavirus outbreak.
For TEMA, Valerie Hackworth, the library’s assistant manager for technology services, and senior library technology specialist Charles Donley are making headbands that attach to medical face shields.
“The folks in the Makerspace and Library Technology were very eager to put their skills to use and help the medical community,” Walker Library Interim Dean Jason Martin said.
“As soon as they heard there was a possibility we could help with 3D printing, they started running tests on the printers and researching what could be done.”
Martin said the initial request is for a run of 1,500 headbands, but he said Makerspace can continue printing them as long as there is the need.
MTSU’s Sculpting Lab in the Department of Art and Design, like the library, is also responding to state requests to produce needed materials via its 3D printers.
“This is a time when we all must pitch in to get through this crisis together, and MTSU is blessed to have the available resources to help in this way,” MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee said.
“Walker Library and the Department of Art and Design staff are simply doing what needs to be done, and I’m thankful for their willingness to put their skills and talents to great use.”
For more information, contact Martin at 615-904-8378 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Hackworth at 615-904-8545 or email@example.com.
— Gina Logue (firstname.lastname@example.org)