TIFFIN — A local information technology company has teamed up with other 3D printer operators all over Northwest Ohio to answer the call for personal protective equipment (PPE) to help front-line medical personnel amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“I felt compelled to help, to do something useful rather than sitting back,” said Jake Schaaf, President of Buckeye I.T. Services and one of the coordinators of the effort. “These nurses and doctors are our new front-line troops and it’s in my nature to support those on the front lines of the battlefield.”
Buckeye I.T. has been serving the Tiffin area since 2007, providing IT support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to government, K12 districts and small and medium-sized businesses.
Schaaf recruited Kevin Rinaman from Calvert Catholic Schools to collaborate on a design and put the district’s 3D printing resources to work.
“When community need arises, you step up and help however you can,” said Rinaman. “That’s what I love about our small town and the surrounding communities, we come together to find solutions.”
In less than a week, Schaaf and Rinaman grew the group to approximately 30 different members. Some are based in education, some are businesses, and others are just enthusiasts willing to help the cause.
For many forced to work from home, this is a way they can use the technology knowledge to practical use. Rinaman said, “The opportunity to utilize my knowledge and passion for 3D printing for the benefit of those around us came to light.”
The group is using a design first employed by Ryan Lawecki in Toledo, Ohio. Inspired by his work, the foundation of the team was formed.
The team consists of people as far east as Akron and as far north as Ann Arbor, but many reside in the Tiffin and Findlay areas. Shields are beginning to be delivered regularly to facilities in Allen, Crawford, Hancock, Marion, Seneca, Sandusky and Wyandot counties. Though that list is likely to grow.
The team’s goal is to be able to provide 1,000 or more a week.
Those interested in requesting completed shields for their organization can fill out this form.
The shields are all donations free of charge to the facilities that need them, and the team has set up a crowdfunding campaign to recoup some of the costs.
For more information, including a list of schools and businesses that are helping, check out the 3D Printing Coalition website. Folks interested in helping make shields can also find out more information there.
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