Daily news reports from the federal government indicate a critical need for supplies in the fight against the Coronavirus. Last week, Chattanooga State’s Respiratory Care program loaned ventilators to Erlanger Health Systems while the Dental program donated its supply of gloves, masks, gowns, and hand sanitizer, and the Life Sciences department donated their supply of gloves to the health department.
Late last week, as the need for face masks increased, Dr.
Tremaine Powell, dean of Chattanooga State’s Engineering Technology department, immediately reached out to Michael Stone, Public Education Foundation director, Hamilton County Schools, STEM school, The Volkswagen Academy, and others to coordinate efforts to print and improve upon Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
When Dr. Powell received the STL 3D printer file from the STEM school, he and faculty member Robert Pace drove to campus to begin the job of printing headbands and face shields to donate to local healthcare and the National Guard.
“The primary project is to print headbands so that face shields can be added to them. The secondary project is to come up with a working N95 mask that can be printed and reused, using various materials,” states Powell. “The masks are prototypes of the "Montana Mask," an open source design that is going out. We are experimenting on ways to one, seal the mask securely on the face, and two, find alternate materials to use as filters and integrate them into the mask,” he continues. Chattanooga State Engineering Technology faculty members Robert Pace, Peter Kriener, and Lance Narramore are working on the printing of masks, which take approximately three and a half hours to print.
According to Dr. Powell, roughly 230 headbands have been printed and delivered to Michael Stone and other volunteers, where they are then delivered to healthcare providers around the community. Plans are in place to continue producing the headbands and Dr. Powell expects that approximately 200 headbands can be completed in a week’s time.
For more information about this project, contact Dr. Tremaine Powell at 423 697-4471 or firstname.lastname@example.org.