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COVID-19 Supply Donation and Collection Event

photo of man with gloves and face mask pointing to a shelf of face shield components.

FUSE Makerspace Operations Manager, Juan Delgado assisting with the packaging of sanitized face shields at the supply and collection event held on April 17. Photo by Macee Hunt.

photo of woman with gloved hands and facemask grabbing face shield components

FUSE Makerspace Director Dena Thomas-Aouassou sanitizing the donated 3-D printed face shield components at the supply and collection event held on April 17. Photo by Macee Hunt

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. --

On April 24, FUSE Makerspace and Air Force Research Laboratory New Mexico Maker Hub collaborated to host a donation and collection event for 3-D printed full-face shields. The shields are intended to be donated to New Mexico hospitals and clinics in need.

The two organizations created the event as a means of reaching out to New Mexico manufacturers who were able and willing to donate supplies to aid in the COVID-19 relief efforts.

“We were looking for any volunteers with supplies or 3D printing capabilities to print the frames for the face shields,” AFRL Maker Hub Director Liam O’Brien said. “We put the word out on social media for which model we were looking for and supplies needed.”

The event asked for Verkan 6-hole model face shields as well as any supplies that could aid in the production of them for future printing. The makers of the community delivered an outpour of response.

The safety of those involved in coordinating the event, as well as the participants who were donating materials was of a high priority to the organizers.

“We were surprised by how many people dropped off supplies even if they owned only one 3D printer,” O’Brien said. “We ran a curbside pickup downtown at FUSE where we collected, cleaned, sanitized, and sealed frames for donation.”

There were over 300 frames and several hundred sheets for face shields collected at the event.

“We will clean and package these donations to be given to health care facilities throughout the New Mexico community,” FUSE Makerspace Director Dena Thomas-Aouassou said. “My goal was to collect 150 face shields and promote awareness of the event. We were able to collect a total of 330 shields and 400 transparency. I would say the collection was a success and we will continue to collect face shields each week.”

Distribution of the collected materials is being coordinated by different partners in the COVID-19 Emergency Supply Collaborative in order to meet the needs specified by the online need surveys.

The teams held another successful collection on April 24 at FUSE Makerspace. If anyone has questions or would like to reach out to learn more, they are encouraged to contact Liam O’Brien at the AFRL Maker Hub, makerhub@afrlnewmexico.com, or Dena Thomas-Aouassou at the FUSE Makerspace, info@fusemakerspace.org.

“We'd like to thank all the people who volunteered their 3D printer time and materials,” O'Brien said. “We also want to thank the leaders at the local and state level for broadcasting our collection. We will definitely be looking at doing more in the future.”