CLAREMORE, Okla. — Rogers State University partnered with Tri County Tech in the production of personal protective equipment in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This partnership increased the supply of masks to Jane Phillip's Ascension Hospital and HealthCrest Surgical Partners among others in Bartlesville.
"Thank you, President Larry Rice and Rogers State University. Without hesitation, RSU loaned us three 3D printers to help increase the production of our protective masks. We appreciate their graciousness and willingness to partner with Tri County Tech," Lindel Fields, Tri County Tech Superintendent and CEO, said.
The loaned equipment is part of RSU’s Bachelor of Technology which includes degree options in Applied Technology, Cybersecurity and Information Assurance, Unmanned Aerial Systems and Esports. The printers are housed in the program's Maker Space on the RSU Claremore campus. The space includes state of the art equipment to assist students in their studies.
"The outcomes of the partnerships we have with each community we serve is a testament of a shared resilient spirit," RSU President Dr. Larry Rice said. "My appreciation extends to each individual who stepped into action in service of our healthcare providers."
RSU has donated its surplus supply of gloves, masks and eye protection to local healthcare providers working on the frontlines. Universities across the country are stepping up to provide resources and training tools to aid in the response of COVID-19. The process of printing masks is simple, but can take up to six hours to produce a single mask.
“We use an AutoCAD software to design the mask and then send the file through a slicing software to upload it to the 3D printer. A material called filament is used to create the mask,” Instructor Curtis Sparling said.
Sparling is an Instructor in the Department of Justice and Technology Studies within the School of Professional Studies. He oversees academic and extracurricular S.T.E.M. programs. Capstone students under his supervision mentor regional junior high and high school students in the annual AeroGames competition. AeroGames is a drone building and piloting competition in partnership with MidAmerica Industrial and powered by Google.
“In the future, the 3D printer can be used to generate almost any materials that may be in high demand. We are grateful for this resource," Sparling said.
Compiled by staff for Claremore Progress, a CNHI LLC publication.