Army of 3D printing pros work around the clock to produce PPE for first responders, healthcare workers

Something Good

All-volunteer effort has produced 10,000 face shields in three weeks

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Twenty-three days. That’s how long 3D printers have been humming along, nonstop, to make face shields for those on the frontlines of the battle against COVID-19.

The headquarters of the all-volunteer effort is where Michael Guinn, who started the group he calls MRG 3D, spends all day and all night, tending to his 14 printers.

The Department of Defense employee, who is an expert in 3D printing among a bevy of other things, is assisted by a dozen volunteers who work in shifts, monitoring the printers, assembling the pieces of the medical-grade shields and boxing them up to be provided to hospitals, medical professionals, and first responders. 

Another 80-plus volunteers work off-site, in Tampa, Sarasota, Ocala and Orlando with their personal 3D printers.

Together, the group has produced more than 10,000 shields already and has no plans to stop. 

Their efforts come with support from community organizations, including Christ Fellowship Church Tampa and the Seminole Heights Neighborhood Association, as well as donors who, so far, have contributed more than $20,000 to help procure supplies and keep the fleet of printers up and running.

Another source of donor money that Guinn hopes will gain traction is his “Adopt a 3D Printer” campaign.

Guinn is offering up each of his 3D printers for sponsorship. The sponsor of each will receive regular updates on how many shields the printer has produced and where the shields have gone. Once the crisis is over, Guinn says he will give the 3D printer to whatever STEM program the sponsor chooses.

If you’re interested in learning about the effort, see daily updates or to find out more about donation or the Adopt a 3D Printer program, go to www.fb.me/MRG3D 

If you have a story idea for Something Good, email me at mcensullo@wfla.com or contact me on Facebook at WFLA Meredyth.

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