Biology and Fine Arts Faculty Fight COVID-19 Via the CreatorSpace
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Biology and Fine Arts Faculty Fight COVID-19 Via the CreatorSpace

April 29, 2020

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Assistant Professor of Biology Courtney Guenther and Fine Arts Instructor Andrew Davis ‘14 have partnered on a project to create and distribute face shields and face shield mounts to local healthcare facilities.
  • As of April 29, Davis had printed 10 face shield mounts.

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – All across the world, people are pitching in and doing what they can to fight COVID-19, including in Winthrop University’s CreatorSpace

Assistant Professor of Biology Courtney Guenther and Fine Arts Instructor Andrew Davis ‘14 have partnered on a project to create and distribute face shields and face shield mounts to local healthcare facilities. Both pieces of equipment are in high demand. 

Housed in G026 Rutledge Building, the CreatorSpace gives students, faculty, staff and the community a place to "converge and create," offering items such as laser cutters, video production equipment, an audio isolation booth, a Yeager Theatre Light Lab — and, of course, 3D printers. 

The project started when Guenther received an email from iWorx, a company that produces some of the physiology equipment she uses in her anatomy and physiology labs. The company shared 3D printing files for creating the face shields. She had previously worked on another 3D project with Davis, so she reached out to him. 

“It was disheartening to hear news stories about our medical professionals not having the equipment they needed, and I really wanted to help,” Guenther said. 

Davis said they’re using an FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) 3D printer to print the face shield mounts. He described the process: 

“The shields themselves are made using our laser cutter to cut thin sheets of transparent plastic to the correct shape,” he explained. “The shields are then attached to the 3D printed mounts via holes cut in the shields. Elastic strips are cut to the proper length and attached to hooks modeled into the mount, and a foam strip is glued to the mount where it rests on the forehead for comfort.” 

As of April 29, Davis had printed 10 face shield mounts. Each shield mount takes approximately five hours to print, while the shields themselves can be cut in a matter of seconds. Davis delivered the first batch last week, and they hope to help more healthcare facilities. 

Guenther credited Davis for the extraordinary work. 

“One of the reasons I love being a faculty member at Winthrop is because of collaborations with colleagues like him,” Guenther said. “Just to give a sense of the amount of effort [he] has put into this project, it takes approximately five hours to print the parts for a single face shield, then there is cutting and assembling the face shield, and countless hours to refine the files and maximize printing efficiency. [He’s] doing all of this while still working remotely on all of his other faculty responsibilities. 

“It's a privilege to work with faculty who care about our students, about each other and our local community.” 

For more information, contact Nicole Chisari, communications coordinator, at chisarin@winthrop.edu.

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Last Updated: 4/29/20