Coronavirus kindness: South Bay teens use 3D printers to help PPE shortage

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Monday, April 6, 2020
Coronavirus: South Bay teens use 3D printers to help PPE shortage
MakeX Palo Alto has 3D printed 50 parts that have been turned into personal protective equipment face shields for doctors and nurses at Bay Area hospitals who are facing the coronavirus pandemic from the front lines.

PALO ALTO, Calif. (KGO) -- There is a dangerous shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) for doctors and nurses during the COVID-19 crisis.

But a group of high school students in Palo Alto, Calif. are doing their part to help the cause.

"I first saw this request for shields on Facebook, so we started making our own," Gunn High School student Isabella Yu said.

After all of her senior year activities were cancelled and school moved to online, Yu knew she had time to give back.

Yu and her fellow-students began to 3-D print parts for face shields to be used by medical personnel.

RELATED: Coronavirus help: Oakland-based 3D printing company helping with PPE supply shortage

Yu works alongside other area students at the student-ran makerspace called MakeX where these 3D printers can be used for any number of needs.

And now, that need is for public health.

Hospitals say they're using 15 sets of protective equipment for each patient arriving with a suspected case of COVID-19.

The printers 3-D print 4 shields at a time.

With two machines, the team produces 8 shield parts per day and has created around 50 to date.

MakeX teams with a larger group of more than 300 volunteers in the South Bay that are creating and donating these parts to Maker Nexus who quality checks the products and distributes to local hospitals.

This group hopes to make 200,000 completed face shields to help people on the front lines during this global pandemic.

RELATED: Coronavirus: South Bay volunteers making 3D-printed COVID-19 face shields for healthcare workers

"I feel really lucky to have this technology in the first place, and to be using it for good," Yu said. "I just really like helping people out. This is just a really cool way to help people out by using the really advanced technology that we have in Silicon Valley."

Yu says you can visit the MakeX website to donate to the cause.

Donations are also being solicited on the Maker Nexus website.

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