BETHLEHEM, Pa. (WLVT) - During the COVID-19 crisis, students on the 3D Printing Team at Moravian College are stepping in to make medical equipment.
“The biggest thing they were lacking was stethoscopes,” said Dr. Jeff Bush with Moravian’s computer science department. He says he spoke with healthcare workers at St. Luke’s to find the biggest need, so they could offer help. Because stethoscopes are being used as disposable equipment, the team at Moravian decided to print them using 3D technology.
Dr. Bush works with four students on this project, and all students rotate on six-hour shifts to cover every 24 hours. This is to make sure the machines are working at all times, and to produce equipment faster. “We’ve already given St. Luke’s 240 stethoscopes.” said Dr. Bush. “We have 80 more that we’re going to deliver today and our goal next week is to get up to 500.”
The 3D team is also making sure essential workers outside the hospital can get protective equipment as well. “We found out that there’s lots of EMT groups, or nursing homes that also need face shields, but they’re not getting them because the hospitals are getting all the equipment,” said Dr. Bush. They’ve given face shields to groups like volunteer fire departments and emergency dental offices as well.
William Brandes is one of the students helping to print equipment. He works the shift from 1 a.m. to 6 a.m., but he said he loves contributing to a good cause. “If we weren’t helping people, there’s no way I’d be coming in from 1 to 6 a.m., five days a week to do it,” said Brandes. “That’s what keeps me going.”
Brandes is a junior at Moravian, studying computer science. He’s been involved with the 3D printing team since he was a freshman, so when the crisis began, he was instantly on board to help. “I’m happy to make a difference, however big or small it is,” said Brandes.
The chemistry department at Moravian is helping sanitize all the equipment, and the art department also gave supplies to the team for production. Dr. Bush has been documenting the journey and progression of the students on their website, and he said he is thankful for their dedication in helping people on the front line. If you want to learn more about the project, or you are able to donate supplies for this effort, click here.