Southwest Regional Maintenance Center (SWRMC) Additive Manufacturing (AM) Team is designing and producing face shields for the medical workers at Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD).
During the current coronavirus pandemic, the team, led by Cesar Molina, SWRMC’s AM subject matter expert, has been working to produce face shields for NMCSD utilizing 3D printers within the shop.
“SWRMC’s ability to produce 3D printed face shields to aid the medical teams in combating this virus showcases the high velocity learning environment we are part of and the team’s innovative thinking and creativity,” said Capt. David Hart, SWRMC’s commanding officer. “We are proud of our ability to provide support when the need arises to those on the front lines of this pandemic.”
Production of the face shields began early April after SWRMC’s AM Team was asked by an employee in the industrial health field at NMCSD about the possibility of creating this much needed item for the staff. They answered the call and got to work. Between planning, developing, and testing it took about 12-15 man-hours to come up with the final product and assembly. The face shields are configured to fit securely on staff wearing respirators.
It takes about two hours to 3D print one face shield frame out of Polyethylene Terephthalate (PETG) material and about 15 seconds to cut a clear face shield out of a sheet of plastic on the laser cutter. The material used in this product has been provided in-house, without outside resources. To date, the team has created about 85 face shields and is aiming to continue production for as long as there is a need.
The hospital uses the face shields for front line medical personnel. The primary use is to protect medical staff wearing respirators from potential exposure to the virus. By protecting their respirator from contamination, it prolongs the use of a single mask.
SWRMC is meeting its mission to provide superior ship maintenance, modernization, technical support, and training for the Pacific Fleet.
For more information on SWRMC please visit https://www.navsea.navy.mil/Home/RMC/SWRMC.
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