3D printing PPE project awarded IBM grant through Volunteer Excellence program

HVAMC Assistant Director Kat Wilson ’14g (Metal) tries on a 3D printed visor and face shield in spring 2020.

The Hudson Valley Additive Manufacturing Center (HVAMC)’s effort to produce thousands of face shields for front-line workers has been recognized by IBM as part of the company’s 2020 Volunteer Excellence Awards.

In the early stages of the pandemic in March 2020, the 3D design and fabrication specialists at the HVAMC worked with IBM and other community partners to rapidly prototype and produce face shields to meet the need for personal protective equipment in healthcare and other professions.

Just a couple months after the effort began, more than 30,000 shields had been distributed to 15 hospitals, first responders and care centers in the region.

“The whole project speaks to the idea of community pitching in during difficult times,” said Dan Freedman, HVAMC director and dean of the School of Science & Engineering, in our coverage of the project last spring. “This pandemic is like nothing most of us have ever seen, and 3D printing provides a unique way of handling the crisis.”

The IBM volunteers who contributed to the face shield project were one of 15 international teams recognized at the 16th annual IBM Volunteer Excellence Awards last month.

The award program is structured to provide grants of $10,000 to the organizations associated with each IBM volunteer team. The HVAMC will be able to use these funds to expand the work that began with the IBM partnership.

About the Hudson Valley Additive Manufacturing Center at SUNY New Paltz
The HVAMC acts as a hub for innovation and a major production facility for companies seeking to print prototypes and manufactured items. Center staff provide expert advice on all aspects of the 3D printing process, making additive manufacturing accessible and realistic for regional businesses and community members. The Center supports the teaching of design in the arts, engineering and the College’s Digital Design and Fabrication minor by rapidly creating prototypes and consulting on materials and processes.

Visit the HVAMC at SUNY New Paltz at https://www.newpaltz.edu/hvamc/ to learn more.