CCAC Engineering Technology student using 3D printer to make much-needed medical supplies
PITTSBURGH—Community College of Allegheny County Engineering Technology student Dave Majetich of Canonsburg is using his skills and his home 3D printer to help make face shields for medical personnel. Majetich joined 3D Printing Pittsburgh (3DPPGH) to help meet the urgent need for face shields during the COVID–19 pandemic, which has led to national shortages of critical personal protective equipment (PPE).
Majetich, who works full time at Bayer in O’Hara Township while taking classes at CCAC South Campus, got involved with micro-manufacturing a few years ago. When he learned of the lack of medical equipment for health care workers, he was confident that 3D printing was a viable response to the PPE shortage. He asked Justin Starr, CCAC Robotics professor, where he could put his skills to good use, and Starr directed him to 3DPPGH. Since mid-March, Majetich has been spending his weekends—Friday through Sunday—printing headbands for the face shields. He is part of a growing group of more than 200 volunteers assisting with the effort. Those in the group with laser cutters produce the face shields, and all the parts are assembled into kits that are sent to doctors’ offices around the region. The group has also received requests from North Carolina and Connecticut.
According to its website, 3DPPGH is utilizing a network of 3D printing volunteers across the region to fabricate open source PPE such as face shields to aid medical personnel on the front line. The group is consulting with medical professionals in our area and across the nation to better understand the type of plastics required as well as the sterilization procedures. Although it took Majetich, a father of four, a little while to get a good print, he is now producing the headbands consistently while making adjustments to comply with specific requests. He is happy to be learning more about the 3D printing process, but even more pleased to be able to aid those in need during the crisis.
“To a certain degree, I feel it’s my duty as a human citizen to help other people if I have the ability, and it just feels good. How can I not contribute when I have the means?” said Majetich, who will graduate in the fall.
His ability to contribute is about to increase tenfold, as he is getting another 3D printer that will enable him to print 10 headbands at a time, instead of just one. He and other volunteers have been using their own materials; however, through GoFundMe, 3DPPGH has raised more than $17,000 to purchase more supplies.
To participate in the effort, visit gofundme.com/f/3dppgh-critical-3d-printed-ppe-for-medical-staff.