CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – College of Charleston (CofC) Professor Grant Gilmore is not part of the sciences department, nor is he part of the engineering department. Creating medical equipment is not something he ever planned on doing. His focuses are historic preservation, architecture, and community planning.
But when Gilmore heard about the shortages of personal protective equipment impacting those on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, he realized that he might be able to help.
Gilmore began using a 3D printer, which he typically uses for making models of historical buildings, to print masks. He was given a blueprint by MUSC for a mask that can be sanitized and reused up to 20 times. The masks are compatible with disposable filters.
Gilmore is working to get the CofC community and the community in general involved.
Cassandra Runyon, a geology professor, is purchasing a 3D printer for mask making. Other staff involved are Chris Starr, Ian O’Byrne, Jolanda van Arnhem, and Sebastian van Delden.
The School of Sciences and Mathematics is working to put all of their 3D printers to work. Other professors are working to modify 3D printers from the School of Business to print faster and use “alternative resins.” By using a flexible rubber as opposed to the current brittle plastic, they hope to create a mask that more comfortably forms to the face and creates a tighter seal.
Gilmore says that the local chapter of the American Institute of Architects, as well as several local architecture firms, are involved as well.
He says that he estimates “the Charleston area has perhaps 100 people with access to 3D printers, so we can really ramp up our efforts with more people doing this, and we should.”
For more information and to find out how to get involved, click here.