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Students create protective shields, adapted ventilators for medical workers

COURTESY PHOTO: OREGON TECH - Oregon Institute of Technology Wilsonville campus students Davia Fleming

Oregon Institute of Technology Wilsonville campus students Davia Fleming and Jacob Allemann have used 3D-printer technology to create protective shields for medical workers, according to a school news release.

The school indicated that the students were planning to make 130 devices and also are creating valves that help convert machines that normally treat sleep apnea into ventilators.

"We're an engineering school, so I thought that there's got to be something that we can do to help," Fleming said. "I went online and researched what there were shortages of and found some open-source software for making face shield visors using 3D printers."

Fleming and Allemann produced the shields from their homes and received help from several faculty members — Mike Myers in mechanical engineering, Chitra Venugopal in renewable energy engineering and Greg Pak in natural sciences — to produce about 40 visors. Lab technician and electrical engineering student Richard Ellis helped laser-cut the acetate shields for attachment to the visors.

They plan to focus on producing the ventilators and distributing the devices. However, the team already has sent some shields to Sky Lakes Medical Center in Klamath Falls.

The institute also received a $10,000 grant from the Ford Family Foundation to continue the project.

"When COVID-19 broke loose across the state, Davia immediately deployed her expertise and inventiveness rather than taking a break after finals," Pak said. She didn't let the virus and the need to stay at home stop her, but instead reached out to get 3D printers delivered to her house by faculty. Davia's and Jacob's enthusiasm is an energy force that knows no barriers. They are the type of Oregon Tech students whose inventiveness is boundless, especially when there is real human need."


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