SERA Staff Band Together for Face Shield Shortage
Last week our Lead Visualization Specialist Brian Stevens turned his dining room into a production zone.
Brian joined SERA employees across the city — and people around the world — lending their technological capabilities and resourcefulness to produce face shields desperately needed by community and healthcare workers as protection against Coronavirus.
After bringing home SERA’s 3D printer, Brian found a usable model for printing the C-shaped visors online. This particular model was derived from versions by IC3D, Inc. and Budmen Industries, which were vetted in a clinical setting and hosted on NIH’s website. Brian modified the final version to use overhead transparency film!
Through trial and error, and by varying production speeds, Brian was able to successfully print a first batch!
“It was fun to solve problems in a physical space rather than virtual,” explained Brian. “Much like planning a VR model, it helps to be organized in everything you do.”
After fine-tuning the production of the visors, focus shifted to the other necessary materials — foam padding for comfort; elastic bands to secure the device; and pliable plastic sheets for the shields themselves.
All it took was an all-staff alert, and our coworkers stepped up! Some bought the materials online, and others donated their own personal supplies.
“Having the support of many people in the office — thanks, elastic donors!! — made tough situations possible to manage!” wrote Brian in an email update.
With the initial supply chain challenges resolved, Brian is producing about 125 shields each week on our small 3D printer, which now runs full time. Staff delivered the first 20 to Central City Concern, and today nearly 100 have been distributed community partners, including Clackamas County, Blanchet House and Meals on Wheels volunteers at no cost.
Kudos to Brian and our creative, resourceful staff for banding together in a time when we must be apart — and looking out for those caring for our community!
We are truly in this together!