3D PRINTERS ARE ON THE FRONT LINES OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

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The US continues to struggle to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, both at a state and federal level. So DIY efforts from academics, hobbyists, manufacturing experts, and professional firms have coalesced around COVID hotspots like New York City to meet the needs of health care workers and others on the front line of the response effort.

The problem is that shields are only made by a limited number of manufacturers, some domestic but many overseas. And large manufacturers only ship units in batches based on orders from procurement offices of large medical institutions and local and state governments.

The operation now has an almost factory-like scale and sophistication. They moved from Choksi’s apartment to the 92nd Street Y, a historic community center in Manhattan’s Upper East Side. They have two official manufacturing partners: 3D printing design firm Tangible Creative, out of Newark, New Jersey, and Brooklyn-based 3D printer creator MakerBot.