UM-Dearborn ‘Maker Lab’ staff are making 3D-printed PPE from home

By | June 22, 2020
3D printed straps for protective masks
3D printed straps for protective masks. (Image courtesy UM-Dearborn)

ECE Senior Electronics Technician Jesse Cross and MSEL Assistant Director Shawn Simone both have their assigned 50-pound MakerBot Replicator 3D printers running on their kitchen tables.

Senior engineering technician Matt Brown figured out the basement was the best place to muffle the printer’s regular “beeps and boops.” And Engineering Technician Josh Postell tucked his in a spare bedroom to keep it safe from his cat, which isn’t thrilled to be socially isolating with the microwave-sized robot.

Normally all of these 3D printers — and the staff running them — would be in CECS’s Manufacturing Systems Engineering Lab (MSEL). But when the pandemic hit, the team decided to relocate and repurpose the printers to remotely produce hard-to-find personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline health care workers.