NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The use of 3D printers has become critical to creating face masks for health care workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Governor Bill Lee announced that eight higher education schools and universities are printing face shields.
"These face shields will allow a health care worker to extend the use of their face masks when dealing with COVID patients," explained Gov. Lee. "I show this because it's just one small example of a way that we're utilizing our higher institutions of learning, the manufacturing companies across Tennessee, our private sector health providers - all working together to increase the supply of personal protective equipment that will allow our incredibly important, front-line health care workers to operate safely."
Some of the schools participating are:
- Tennessee State University: Producing face shield headbands and hand sanitizer
- Tennessee Tech University: READ MORE: Tennessee Tech, other schools use 3D printers to create face shields for health care workers
- Middle Tennessee State University: Producing face shield headbands
Smile Direct Club is one company helping to supply hospitals with equipment. It opened its manufacturing facility to print face masks, face shields, respirator valves and other supplies.
The company urges medical supply companies and health organizations to contact them directly at firstname.lastname@example.org to determine if the company can be of assistance. Specifically, SmileDirectClub is able to print materials using STL 3D printing files, and once provided can quickly offer manufacturing capacity. SmileDirectClub also has a global HIPAA-trained contact center team and support system to assist in health aid efforts.