Coronavirus News: NY teachers use basement 3-D printers to make plastic face shields

DOBBS FERRY, New York (WABC) -- Communities continue to step up during the coronavirus pandemic, and one New York teacher is providing crucial personal protective equipment that wasn't purchased but made in a basement.

JP Kaminski is making use of 3-D printers to create plastic face shields for nurses and other frontline healthcare workers.

"We just want to see these doctors and nurses happy and feeling more protected when they're there," he said.

His setup is similar to that of a dozen public school technology teachers from Westchester, Rockland and Dutchess counties who during the summer work at a STEM enrichment camp called Discover Camp.

For the last four weeks, their 3-D printers have been going virtually non-stop, producing over 3,000 protective shields. They managed to cut down printing time to two hours.

"If we can save 20 to 30 minutes on each print, times 80 printers going 15 hours a day, that's just that much more printing we're able to do for the medical community," he said.

The group has raised over $60,000 in a GoFundMe campaign, and that has led to other donations. In Dobbs Ferry, where Kaminiski teaches, the PTSA awarded a grant that allowed him to purchase three additional printers.

"We're all sitting here in our house, and we don't know what to do or how we can help," PTSA President Brooke Bass said. "So this was a great way to feel like we're helping the community, and he's doing such great stuff so of course it was a no brainer."

A picture of the shields in use is all the teachers ask for in return.

"They understand what we're going through because of what's in the media," nurse Margaret Ruane Posca said. "And it's heartwarming."

It is a grassroots effort making a difference in a global crisis one 3-D print at a time.

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