With the amount of uncertainty many people and businesses are facing in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, one thing is certain. As long as there are people and communities in need, there will be people there to help.
As soon as a National Emergency was declared, agencies and communities realized they didn’t have adequate amounts of PPE or other equipment that is necessary in combatting the spread of COVID-19 and treating those with the disease. Many people answered the call and were able to do their part to help those in need, including Avant-Garde Design, JK Automotive Designs, Takmade (3D for COVID), and Vinylbomb. These Trotec customers have used their Speedy and SP lasers to create face masks, shields, and other items for those in need.
Another customer that has been at the forefront of the COVID battle has been the Georgia Institute of Technology. Their participation and ingenuity started when they realized that the N95 mask shortage was growing, which prompted many students and professors to come together to determine how to best address this issue. In addition to their long list of industry contacts that joined in on the project, the involvement also consisted of the Global Center for Medical Innovation (GCMI) as well as the Mechanical, Chemical, and Biology departments, according to Kentez Brown, the Shop Manager at the Invention Studio at Georgia Tech.
“Our CO2 Speedy 400 was instrumental for cranking out the PET face shields to do the first small run to test how manufacturable our design was,” says Brown. “The combination of the pass-through feature, bed size, and vacuum table doubled our production rate of the PET section of the face shields.” In addition to creating face shields, Georgia Tech has also been prototyping a Bag Valve Mask (BVM) Ventilator system, protective shields used for intubation and other aerosolization procedures, as well as many other projects.
Georgia Tech owns several Trotec systems, including a Speedy 400, Speedy 400 flexx, and two Speedy 300 lasers. “The Speedy 400 flexx [fiber source] was used to trial scale markings on the ventilator design by cutting into the surface of the metal. We also ended up using the CO2 capacity to add the clean black Cermark to the scales. The Speedy 300 [lasers] were able to crank out quicker design iterations than the waterjet during the early prototyping phase of the face shields and were used for that purpose,” says Brown.
Trotec is humbled and proud to play a small part in empowering businesses and institutions to use their laser systems to support those in need. To get involved, contact your local hospital or healthcare facility to see how you can help.
For questions on Georgia Tech’s contributions, contact GCMI.
For more information on Georgia Tech’s contributions, click here.