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Phoenix College Provides Much-Needed (3D Printed) Masks To St. Joseph's Hospital

3D Masks 3D Printers at Night 3D Printer with Bear Bear with 3D Printers

PHOENIX (April 23, 2020) – The number of Coronavirus cases continue to rise in Arizona and across the country. Those on the front lines are in dire need of personal protection equipment (PPE), as shortages of the most essential tools are becoming widespread. Phoenix College (PC) is doing its part to combat this problem.  During April , Phoenix College printed 90 masks using two 3D printers from their Engineering and Mathematics departments.  The College’s donation of the 90 masks to St. Joseph’s hospital today marks their second contribution to health care partners, joining a previous donation on April 3rd (over $8,000 worth of PPE from the existing inventory of its Allied Health programs).

The masks printed are the Montana Mask design, created in Billings, Montana and released to the world on March 22. Shortly after, Phoenix College printed its first prototype utilizing their equipment and testing the  production processes. After several tests, they scaled up by adding a third 3D printer from their CIS department and embarked on an aggressive printing program as they transitioned to a remote work environment across the college. 

Phoenix College’s Chief Information Officer, Paul Ross, spearheaded this effort.  “Phoenix College is always looking for ways to give back to our community.  The community, including our health care partners, are so important to us” says Ross, who spent more than 500 hours over a 12 day period monitoring the entire process - while also performing his regular work duties remotely from his residence.  “Throughout the process, my children even assisted me by tracking production volume, counting the elapsed time, and cleaning the masks.  It was a great opportunity for them to contribute to the safety of the medical field during this critical time.”

The Montana Mask was selected because of their thoughtful approach to designing a solution and conducting sanitization tests. There are many masks now available in the 3D community, with continuous improvements. For example, the Barrow Neurological Institute has developed a model starting with the Montana Mask. The add-on processes designed by the Institute represents a step forward to creating a viable long-term solution based on technology, medical needs and thoughtful design.

More information about the Montana Mask can be found at:
https://www.makethemasks.com/

More information about the Barrow Neurological Institute’s design can be found at:
https://www.barrowneuro.org/get-to-know-barrow/barrow-innovation-center-...

Maria Reyes, Phoenix College’s Dean of Industry and Public Service added “This was not an overnight project. The technology was accessible and there was a plan built on research, data and design. These masks will make a difference in the lives of our medical professionals treating members of our community.”

The United States Department of Labor states that the spread of COVID-19 can be hindered by using a combination of standard precautions, contact precautions, airborne precautions, and eye protection (e.g., goggles, masks, face shields) to protect healthcare workers with exposure to the virus. PPE’s are necessary to keep workers on the frontlines safe from contracting and/or spreading the virus. 

Phoenix College has transitioned all classes to an online/remote format for the spring and summer semesters of 2020.  The campus is closed until further notice.  But, academic and support services are available online and by phone. Class registration is open, so enroll today.

For more information, or interviews with program faculty members, contact Erika Keenan, Manager of Marketing & Public Relations at: erika.keenan@phoenixcollege.edu


About Phoenix College: 

Phoenix College is the flagship of the 10 colleges in the Maricopa County Community College District, one of the largest community college districts in the nation. The College will be celebrating its 100-year anniversary in 2020. Phoenix College offers academic courses leading to associate degrees, university transfer, certificates and short-term job training to more than 17,000 students annually.

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