HCC Professors Help Hospital Staff

Housatonic Community College (HCC) and three of its instructors have partnered together to create plastic face shield frames that ultimately can be worn by healthcare workers in the fight against Coronavirus.

Working remotely, HCC instructors George Scobie, Adam Scobie and Tristan Hunte borrowed nine 3-D printers owned by the college, and are privately donating the plastic materials and labor to build the frames. On day four of the effort, the team has already built a total of 150 frames at Scobie’s business, MRH Tool in Milford.

“It feels incredible to be able to help,” said Scobie. “I’ll keep doing this until they ask me to stop.”

A newer technology, 3-D printing builds three-dimensional objects from a computer-aided design (CAD) model. The end product is created by successively adding material together, layer by layer. This layering process is the genesis of its other name, ‘additive manufacturing.’

The efforts by Scobie and team are part of a larger undertaking happening around the state. Nearly 300 businesses, organizations and private citizens are working on over 500 3-D printers to make the shields daily and reach a goal of 20,000 shields in 20 days.

The frames are gathered, assembled with a plastic shield and then donated to hospitals across Connecticut and into New York state. Assembly is taking place in space donated by Engineering Specialties Incorporated in North Branford. The first 100 shields were delivered on Monday to Saint Mary's Hospital in Waterbury.

The ‘print army’ initiative was started by Ben Danker, a healthcare worker who designed the 3-D model for a single printer. An anonymous Facebook post captured the hearts of readers who wanted to help and ignited the community effort.

“It’s a cool movement, I’m glad to be a part of it, and we’ll keep going because it’s the right thing to do,” said Danker.

Donations are needed to support the costs of materials, assembly and delivery to hospitals. Filament donations of PLA 1.75mm will also be accepted. To make a donation contact George Scobie at 203-815-7656, or donate online by visiting: bit.ly/CT3-DPrintArmy

"The team at HCC is doing an outstanding job on a number of initiatives the challenges COVID-19 has presented for our Manufacturing program. At the same time that we face these challenges head on, we are also looking at the opportunities we have to assist in our community,” said Rich DuPont, Director of Community and Campus Relations for the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center at HCC.


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