As a leading supplier of quality goods and services, H2I Tech Ed Division and Paton Group are excited to team up with Stratasys and St. Cloud State University to design and develop a creative approach for personal protective equipment. As the global impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to unfold, demands for protective equipment continues to rise. Katie Powell, office coordinator from Guardian Angels Elim Home and Hospice in Elk River, MN found herself at crossroads when their PPE kits started to decrease and any new orders she tried to place were back-ordered until June 2020. At Guardian Angels Elim Home and Hospice, 100 nurses help and take care of elders in-home and in the facility. To provide these nurses with the PPE they need, Katie quickly looked for alternate options by reaching out to Stratasys.
“Our hope is to help distribute to local hospitals, healthcare facilities, essential businesses that currently don’t have anything or are in need of them.” -Nate Thiesfeld, H2I Group
St. Cloud State University quickly jumped on board with the opportunity to serve the local communities and assist healthcare providers. They fired up their Stratasys F250 printers and got to work printing frames for the face shields and laser cut the plastic shields. They were able to mass produce the 100 needed in just one day. It takes one machine 21 hours to print 20 of the headgear/frames and 15 minutes to cut several of the face shields on a ULS laser system. There are also adjustments that need to be made to accommodate different sizes. With some troubleshooting and tweaks, a solution was tailored to meet those challenges. SCSU is able to produce 500-700 masks per week.
By using the same frame and shield from SCSU, they created a unified system to build and cut. H2I Group has begun running our own Fortus 250 3D printer and 2 new F170 3D printers to help mass produce the frames. Together, they are working to build and cut as many face shields as possible to deliver to local facilities. These alternate face shields are compact and can easily be packaged and transferred to where they are needed. The headgear uses a spring tension that was originally designed by a young man in Sweden method which allows us to use the ABS plastic to connect in the back versus a rubber band which typically has latex. These face shields are easy to assemble and in less than seconds, you will have ready-to-use protective equipment. The PPE equipment is very simple by design. The headband can easily be sterilized for multiple use and the plastic transparency face shield can be easily be swapped out after several uses. It is relatively cheap and quick to make and also easily sanitized.
H2I Group traveled to St. Cloud to pick up and deliver the first batch to the Guardian Angels Elim Home and Hospice. Tech Ed Divisional Manager, Nate Thiesfeld says, “Our hope is to help distribute to local hospitals, healthcare facilities, essential businesses that currently don’t have anything or are in need of them. This is a huge effort and I would like to thank the following for their help: H2I Tech Ed Minnesota Reps John Neal, and Darren Perry; St. Cloud State University’s Mark Schroll, Kurt Helgeson, Chuck Hentges; and Paton Group’s Frank Paton, Chris Miller, Brad Roa. Also to Stratasys, Jesse Roitenberg, for discounted prices and donated materials. He says “Stratasys is happy to help out such a great cause.”
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