3D printing at UT Austin helping to protect health care workers on coronavirus frontline


AUSTIN (KXAN) — In the face of a potential deficit for personal protective equipment in Texas, researchers at the University of Texas at Austin are looking for fast solutions to support the community.

The Pharmaceutical Engineering and 3D Printing (PharmE3D) Lab at UT is using its 3D-printing resources to quickly make face shields for Dell Medical School and other health institutions.

The project is called RAPID Shield. Ideally, RAPID Shield can create enough PPE quickly until the stockpile is replenished in the UT and Austin community.

After seeing the overwhelming response to Dell Medical School’s recent PPE collection drive, an assistant professor in the College of Pharmacy, Mohammed Maniruzzaman, contacted Dell Medical School, UT Health Austin, the School of Nursing and other UT health institutions to make requests for 3D-printed face shields, a UT release says.

“When researchers around the world are now focused on development of an effective treatment for COVID-19, our current efforts can make a small yet significant impact,” Maniruzzaman said in the release. “We are so privileged that our research could support frontline health professionals within our UT community and beyond during this pandemic. I am grateful to my research team who work tirelessly to make RAPID Shield a reality.”

UT Austin’s School of Engineering is working on a 3D face mask prototype featuring a reusable plastic shell and a replaceable filter.

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