Updated: April 15, 2020 10:38 AM
Created: April 14, 2020 06:38 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The University of New Mexico has created a 3D printing hub to make masks and face shields for health care works across the state.
More than a dozen 3D printers are quietly at work in a warehouse near the Sunport.
“We're actually very excited to provide some assistance to our health care providers, not only at UNM, but across the state of New Mexico in any way we can,” said Christina Salas, assistant engineering professor at UNM.
The printing hub is a 24/7 operation, fully manned by UNM students and faculty.
“We actually have 25 UNM students from the School of Engineering,” Salas said. “Of course not all at one time—we are limiting no more than five persons in this building at any one time.”
The hub is capable of producing up to 700 masks per week.
“How it started was this thought about making things like face shields that are already FDA approved that can immediately be deployed,” said Heather Canavan, a UNM engineering professor.
After further testing of the product, UNM plans to double or triple their resources to expand production.
The goal is to provide PPE to frontline workers at UNM hospital and across the state.
“We can find a way in order to help them feel comfortable in knowing that in the event of a PPE shortage that we were able to provide some support for them,” Salas said.
People can donate to the work the engineering department is doing through the UNM Foundation. Donations must be specified that they’re for the PPE work being done via Christina Salas and Heather Canavan.
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