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St. Luke’s, local businesses collaborate to produce masks that protect against COVID-19

 

Bethlehem’s St. Luke’s and Filament Innovations of Coplay, as well as 3D manufacturer ProtoCAM of Upper Macungie Township, have teamed up to produce 3D printed masks and face shields for health care providers to help protect them from COVID-19. PHOTO/SUBMITTED

Bethlehem’s St. Luke’s and Filament Innovations of Coplay, as well as 3D manufacturer ProtoCAM of Upper Macungie Township, have teamed up to produce 3D printed masks and face shields for health care providers to help protect them from COVID-19.

“We’ve been following the news in Europe related to medical supplies, and I knew we had to act quickly,” said Megan Augustine, director of St. Luke’s University Health Network’s Simulation Center.

She began working with her team and the 3D printing community to custom print N95 respirator masks, additional masks and face shields – some of the highest-demand protective products for health care workers.

Working together, the three groups expect to produce about 300 to 350 masks and face shields per week, said Kate Raymond, director of marketing and public relations for St. Luke’s.

In addition, East Stroudsburg University and Penn State reached out to St. Luke’s to help on 3-D printing, Augustine said.

St. Luke’s is looking for any other organization who can help, she added.

“We are about to run a supply chain logistics marathon and we are looking at creative, alternate solutions for supplies like masks,” Augustine said.

Production could begin March 25 or March 26, she added.

Filament Innovations and ProtoCAM have been instrumental, Augustine said.

“Since our first prototype, we’ve made numerous changes, numerous adjustments,” Augustine said.

The masks passed through sterilization tests and could be custom-fitted to an individual’s face. Additionally, St. Luke’s can reuse them, Raymond said.

“Because of COVID-19, we are seeing a strain on the supply chain – we are asking ourselves ‘how do we rethink the manufacturing of these items?’” said Michael Gorski, owner and founder of Filament Innovations, in a statement. “This process is showing what local manufacturing can do right here in the Lehigh Valley by utilizing 3D printing, an advanced manufacturing method. We all want to do what we can for our community.”

 

Brian Pedersen
Reporter Brian Pedersen covers construction, development, warehousing and real estate and keeps you up to date on the changing landscape of our community. He can be reached at bpedersen@bridgetowermedia.com. or 610-807-9619, ext. 4108.

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