PHILIPPI, W.Va.—Amid the COVID-19 pandemic is the concern over limited protective gear for those on the front lines. Alderson Broaddus University Class of 2007 graduate Douglas Jones and his wife Kelly Marie, both Grafton natives, have taken matters into their own hands and are using technology to help.
“We saw a need that needed to be filled,” said Jones. “Everything that we can do to help slow the spread can lessen the severity of the incline in cases.”
Doug graduated from AB with a degree in computing and concentrations in software engineering and information technology.
Using a 3D printer, he and his wife have spent many sleepless nights creating face shields for healthcare professionals and first responders.
When the printing process is done, the full shield is assembled with elastic, clips, and replaceable transparent sheets.
The design came from a 3D printing company based in Prague, Czech Republic called Prusa Research and has been slightly modified to US Customary Units of measurement.
The face shield protects the face by limiting aerosol and splatter exposure from the front and above. It is a supplementary face shield created as an emergency action to provide backup personal protective equipment (PPE) options if the standard PPE is unavailable.
The device exceeds recommendations by the National Institute of Health and has gone through a special verification process expedited strictly for the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The biggest hurdle has been time,” explained Jones. “It came to the point that there was an extreme need for supplies. The printer is not fast enough, and I modified the design to make production more efficient.”
Jones is again modifying the design to streamline the production process further and provide additional protection. Since production began, more than 500 shields have been completed, 300 shields have been delivered to local healthcare providers, hospitals, and nursing homes, and an additional 1,900 will be prepared and donated.