3D printing is one of several hot new technologies to be rising in fame and intrigue over the last few years. The concept is alluring, being able to have a consumer device that actually prints 3 dimensional products rather than just putting ink to paper. When COVID-19 started to overtake the unprepared world and hospital staff were running out of essential PPE needed to keep them safe on the frontlines, Michelle Benedict saw a solution.
Though she had no personal experience in 3D printing, she had been an Engineering Project Manager at Apple before coming to medical school. Within a few weeks, she and her printing partners around the US had created over 100 reusable face shields for healthcare workers and continue to produce more every day. These face shields are meeting a vital demand at the University of Michigan Medicine (where a high number of COVID patients are being treated) as well as other hospitals in Michigan and other places around the country. Some of these physicians and nurses to whom the face shields have been sent include the heroes in special immune compromised departments/centers like Pediatric Oncology and healthcare staff that care for disabled adults in group home settings.
Michelle has also created a “how to” video for others who want to find a way to help, but have no experience in 3D printing. “I wanted to show everyone how easy it is to help. At times like this it can be tempting to feel defeated and helpless, but the truth is that I believe really anyone can do something to help. I am so grateful for the financial and mentorship support from AMWA to get this project running. I hope others will see the video and think of how possible it is for them to be a part of the revolution working to help heal the world too.”View How-To Video & Instructions