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    Engineers 3D Print Face Shields, Respirator Masks and Face Coverings to Fill Shortages

    Engineers 3D Print Face Shields, Respirator Masks and Face Coverings to Fill Shortages

    Photo By Dana Rene White | Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division (NSWC PHD) In-Service Engineering...... read more read more

    PORT HUENEME, CA, UNITED STATES

    04.20.2020

    Story by Mark Sashegyi 

    Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division

    With respirator mask and face shield supplies running low in the wake of COVID-19, engineers from Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme’s (NSWC PHD) Fathomwerx Lab and Engineering Development Lab (EDL) have turned to Additive Manufacturing (AM) and 3D printing to fill the gap.

    These efforts support the Department of the Navy (DoN) leadership’s recent direction that systems commands use DoN assets to make COVID-19 medical supplies.

    “We have the talent and equipment to make our own personal protective equipment (PPE), and there is such a high demand for medical supplies nationally, so we are doing our part to ensure supplies go where they are most needed,” said NSWC PHD In-Service Engineering Agent of the Future (ISEAotF) Military Lead Lt. Cmdr. Todd Coursey.

    Current command efforts are to ensure the supply demand is understood and the equipment being made is safe, effective and approved for use, Coursey added.

    “Our teams are working off of approved designs from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as well as guidance from the Navy and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),” Coursey said.

    Fathomwerx and EDL each have 3D printers, and their personnel worked together to produce more than 130 face shields. They are being used internally by NSWC PHD’s mission essential workforce whose work requires they be on base, he said.

    Face masks, however, are different in that they have to meet ventilation and skin safety requirements before being approved for production, Coursey said. The NIH has printing and manufacturing instructions for only one approved face mask on its website—the Stopgap Surgical Face Mask (SFM), he explained.

    “EDL’s 3D printer is capable of churning out about 77 Stopgap masks with the material EDL has on hand,” Coursey said. “Those will be ready in small batches, as it currently takes 50 hours to print eight masks.”

    Materials to produce another 500 Stopgap SFMs have been ordered, he added.

    “All supplies fabricated will be distributed to support our ship riders,” Coursey said.

    In addition to face masks and face shields, face coverings are being handed out to PHD personnel required to be on-site. These face coverings come in kits with assembly instructions in accordance with CDC. Face coverings are also being provided to NSWC PHD’s Combat Systems Assessment Teams (CSAT) and personnel traveling to support the Fleet.

    Coursey cautioned that individuals should still practice social distancing and good hygiene, and not assume face shields, masks or coverings completely prevent users from potentially contracting COVID-19. The coverage is more to help prevent wearers from potentially spreading COVID-19 to others, he added, should they be asymptomatic carriers.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 04.20.2020
    Date Posted: 04.20.2020 18:02
    Story ID: 367895
    Location: PORT HUENEME, CA, US 

    Web Views: 193
    Downloads: 0

    PUBLIC DOMAIN