Last month, our very own David Weaver in Paradise Valley Community College’s Engineering Department, contacted Maricopa County Community College District’s chancellor and president with the idea of using the college’s 3D printers to make personal protection equipment (PPE) to help with the local supply shortage here in the Valley. Weaver quickly put together an action plan, enlisting the help of IT and the Help Desk, while Christianne Nieuwsma, Associate Dean, spearheaded the project, coordinating with other campuses and the district’s foundation.
“It’s definitely been a group effort and I couldn’t be prouder,” said Weaver. “Everyone has been amazing, including a whole crew of student workers who helped make this happen. I know my students appreciate having the opportunity to play a role in all of this.”
Weaver worked tirelessly, revamping his existing ECE courses into sources, in order for all of his students to contribute to this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The team partnered with locally-owned Fabric Depot & Supply for materials, and in mid-April, began producing face shields for medical facilities, health care providers and police. Currently, the team is working on an additional 120 masks to be delivered to the Navajo Nation in Tuba City, AZ.
“I’m doing something to make people safe and tone down the flames of the pandemic,” said Tyler Tyburski, a PVCC student, in a recent interview with ABC15 News. To view the entire interview, click here.
As Weaver and his team restock materials, they will continue to make masks as needed. “I’m not sure what future demands will be, but we'll keep cranking as long as we can with our current resources and personnel,” he said.