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Students Manufacture 1000 Face Shields For IHC

Two Park City brothers, one in 7th grade, the other in 9th, along with friends and their teacher are using their expertise to help Intermountain Health Care provide additional PPE for their staff.
Brad Gannon teaches 7th grade at Ecker Hill Middle School. He is the Career and Technical Education teacher focusing on engineering and technology. During the Stay-at-Home orders he’s juggling a handful of projects to keep his class engaged and active in their learning. One of his students, Ecker Hill Middle School 7th grader, Ben Knight has been participating in the afterschool program called TSA or the Technology Student Association, which is where he learned to use 3D printers.

Ben and his brother Jake have been making face shields which will be used by medical personal throughout Intermountain Health Care facilities. It takes about three hours to print one of the pieces needed to build the face shield.

“And, then we had a few other friends who also had 3D printers and were printing along with us and we were able to speed up the process. Essentially the face shields are three parts. There’s a band which is 3D printed, the shield which is clear plastic and the strap in the back which is nylon.”

The boys reached out to IHC and were told the model they were producing would be acceptable as PPE for their medical staff. Brother, Ben says they have five different friends who are using their own 3D printers to produce the bands. But Jake says production was still too slow. So, they started a Go Fund Me page and raised $2,500 to buy more supplies and to source a more efficient way to manufacture the bands.

“So, the only part that was holding us back was how long it took to print the band and so we found a company that does injection molding and they can print about 2 bands every 10 seconds. So, we bought 1000 of those and we have well over 1000 of the shields and well over 1000 of the straps for the back, and we're actually going to assemble those today.”

Gannon says he is using the school district’s 3D printer to help with the production. He says they use a laser cutter to cut the face shields.

He’s busy helping with printing and laser cutting but Gannon also has students who are working on their CTE projects. They include a CO2 balsa wood carved dragster that will have the capacity to go 60 miles per hour when it’s all constructed. He plans to hold a remote drag race sometime before the end of the school year. He has a large group of kids working on a 3D Architectural CAD project as well.

“They’re designing their ideal house. It needs at least two bedrooms, one bathroom, kitchen and they can do this digitally using a program called tinker CAD which is on line 3-dimensional design program. And they can also do it via paper. And they can also do it on another online program called Home-styler, which is a really cool architect interior design program that students can easily use.”

According to Gannon, the TSA program, the printers, and the laser cutter were funded through the Park City Education Foundation.


KPCW reporter Carolyn Murray covers Summit and Wasatch County School Districts. She also reports on wildlife and environmental stories, along with breaking news. Carolyn has been in town since the mid ‘80s and raised two daughters in Park City.