The spread of COVID-19 has impacted all of us, worldwide. For most of us in the AEC industry, it has meant primarily remote working, enhanced sanitizing practices, social distancing, and stop work orders resulting in downsizing. However, other industry sectors, like hospitality and entertainment, have experienced widespread and devastating layoffs. The healthcare sector, as well as other essential workers, have been on the frontlines of the pandemic at great personal cost.
We at Gedeon GRC Consulting feel it is our obligation, not only as New York residents, but also as human beings, to support the healthcare workers who have been protecting us every day. Our challenge has been finding ways to aid them in a practical and tangible manner, while complying with all guidelines.
Historically, engineers have helped to defend their communities, for example by designing stronger city walls. We can do the same, by supporting the heroes who are fighting this invisible and deadly enemy in any way we can.
Therefore, Gedeon GRC Consulting and its foundation, Gedeon Empowerment Project, have teamed up to manufacture face shields for distribution to local hospitals. We are currently using a simple prototype (Model ID 3DPX-013306) found on the United States Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health’s 3D Print Exchange. Prior to discovering this model, we were printing Model ID 3DPX-013491. The current model uses less plastic, prints 3-4 times faster, and has been approved in clinical settings.
We are printing the visors using the company’s 3D printer, a Lulzbot Taz 6, and PLA plastic. Using a standard hand hole punch, plastic binder sheets are then attached to the visors. The shields are produced and assembled by one individual, wearing gloves, and disinfected prior to packaging and shipping. As the virus may remain viable for several hours to days on different surfaces, we include the packaging date on each shipment. To date, we have produced over 100 shields and distributed them to local hospitals on Long Island and in the NY Metro area.
As we continue to look for additional ways to support those who have been hit the hardest in this pandemic, Gedeon GRC Consulting remains 100% operational. For over a month now, our design and administrative staff have been teleworking while our construction staff has been working on site in complete compliance with all CDC and State guidelines.
We invite you, the members of the AEC community, to join in this effort and share your ideas. Please stay safe, be well, and keep in touch!