LITTLETON, CO | For M&M engineer Stephen Fussnecker, what began as a hobby has now transformed into an invaluable resource to healthcare workers on the front line of the COVID-19 crisis. Using his personal 3-D printing equipment, he is working diligently to create personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers in need.
“My wife is a physician’s assistant, and I started out making a few for her,” says Fussnecker. “I then saw that there was a national shortage of face shields, so I decided this was something I could do from home to make a difference in the COVID battle.”
So far, he has made three different types of face shields—ranging from a simpler plastic band to a full shield. All three are approved and have been clinically tested by the National Institute of Health (NIH). After a few days of trying different printing methods, he is now able to print two masks in just under an hour.
To date he has made 200 shields.
After the masks are complete, they are sanitized, packaged, and ready for donation. The first batch of the simpler headband went to matterhackers.com, who needed just the bands to add to the shield component they already had. The others have been distributed to his wife’s medical group in the Denver metro region. He has also reached out to local hospitals to serve as a resource if needed. He plans to continue making the shields until they are no longer needed.
Although Fussnecker has a degree in mechanical engineering, he says most of his 3-D printing knowledge is self-taught, learning much from the rapidly expanding 3-D printing YouTube community.
To learn more about his efforts, watch this video: https://bit.ly/SJF3DPrint