Tampa, FLA.—-A local Tampa businesswoman, Lorri Brown, saw the need to support our medical community and first responders during this unprecedented time of fighting COVID-19.
As news spread of the dire shortage of medical supplies throughout the country, Lorri feared Tampa would soon be in the same position. She came across the idea of 3D printing medical masks, an approach that is springing up across the country to help decentralize and supplement the production of medical supplies from strained manufacturers.
To garner support and funding for printing supplies, Lorri launched a GoFundMe page, catching the attention of Tim Keeports, the President of the Old Seminole Heights Neighborhood Association (OSHNA). Tim quickly looped in Michael R. Guinn, an OSHNA Board Member, and also a Biomedical Engineer and an Acquisition Program Manager for the U.S. Department of Defense, who is a known subject matter expert in 3D printing.
Michael was able to offer fourteen 3D printers and Pastor Bruce Moore of Christ Fellowship Church Tampa offered to provide lab space for the printers, assembly effort, and future volunteers. The community collaboration is named “Tampa Ready” with a Facebook landing page for more information at https://www.facebook.com/MRG3D and a closed group to at https://www.facebook.com/groups/MRG3D. For those looking to volunteer, please sign up at https://timecounts.org/tampa-ready-3d
The four–person team of Brown, Keeports, Guinn, and Moore held one planning meeting before rapidly moving to installation, beta-testing prototypes, and is now in full production after only two days. Within 3 days from inception, the team had their products utilized by medical professionals in the community. The team has been working tirelessly and is utilizing a small number of properly screened volunteers. Volunteers are spaced apart for social distancing and will assist with the 24/7 production, packaging, and delivery of the much-needed face shields for Tampa’s medical community. While this is not the most cost-effective way to manufacture these face shields, with the economy’s production and logistical system being compromised, local manufacturing must be used to meet the needs of our medical professionals.
Several Tampa Bay hospital systems have already reached out to “Tampa Ready” requesting over six thousand face shields, and the surge has not even hit Tampa yet. Currently, the team is printing several hundred units per day, but as time goes by, they are trying new 3D design elements and making processes more efficient. As you can imagine, the 3D printers need repairs, material is constantly consumed, and there are other supplies needed to fuel this community cause.
To Support Tampa Ready efforts on GoFundMe: https://bit.ly/349csnW
To Volunteer : https://timecounts.org/tampa-ready-3d
To Contact Tim Keeports, President of Old Seminole Heights Neighborhood Association (OSHNA) use 571-527-6018.
To Contact Michael Guinn, MRG3D, use 352-208-1663.