NEWTON, NJ—Donations can also be made through PPE Made in USA, website established to coordinate the efforts of several schools working on the same initiative.  Those schools include: Mount Olive, Vernon, High Point, Lenape Valley, Byram and West Caldwell Tech.

They are partnering with Picatinny Arsenal STEM, Gravity Designworks, Inc., Thorlabs, Rutgers University-New Jersey Medical School, Mira Plastics, Planet Networks, NJMEP and ShopRite.  

According to the PPE Made in USA website they have moved from 3D printing to laser cutting the shields, referred to as the Johns Hopkins University Model, assembling with foam and an elastic.  They anticipated producing 15,000 by the end of last week. 

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Newton resident, teacher at Newton High School and Robotics coach James Hofman wears many hats.  In the midst of the coronavirus crisis, he has added one more- protective face shield maker.  Hofman has teamed up with Mark Maruska from Gravity Design Works and Alex Cable owner of ThorLabs to create face masks for healthcare workers using 3D printers.

The idea came in an email from Rohan Sawhney, a Rutgers New Jersey Medical School Student whom Hofman had met two years ago.

Sawhney mentioned to Hofman there was a serious lack of protective masks at hospitals. Hoffman’s 28-year old son Justin is a third year-physician resident at Newark’s University Hospital.

This email got Hofman thinking. He had a 3D printer in his basement and knew of another two at Newton High School. He knew he could produce plastic face shields for hospitals.

This idea sparked a little over two weeks ago. Since then Hofman has produced at least 75-150 each day. The masks are 9-by-9-inch clear plastic face masks with head straps. Each can be sterilized and reused safer than the cloth masks.

Cable contributed to the effort, tracking down 4-by-8-foot sheets of plastic at a New Jersey distributor, while Maruska offered a laser to cut the plastic sheets into face shield.

They are not the only ones getting involved though. Maruska put a post out on Facebook asking for donations of any kind, monetary, or 3D Printers themselves.  

The high school was able to free up the additional printers, a grocery chain kicked in some cash and a lumber firm promised trucks to move the shields to hospitals.

Thorlabs is planning on producing plastic face masks as well in the coming weeks. Cable noted that it takes time to set up that kind of supply chain.

In just 48 hours after Maruska posted on Facebook, he received a generous donation, $10,000 to buy two new printers.

To donate to the cause please visit Maruska’s facebook page by following this link. Donations can also be made through PPE Made in USA, website established to coordinate the efforts of several schools working on the same initiative.  Those schools include: Mount Olive, Vernon, High Point, Lenape Valley, Byram and West Caldwell Tech.

They are partnering with Picatinny Arsenal STEM, Gravity Designworks, Inc., Thorlabs, Rutgers University-New Jersey Medical School, Mira Plastics, Plantet Networks, NJMEP and ShopRite.  

According to the PPE Made in USA website they have moved from 3D printing to laser cutting the shields, referred to as the Johns Hopkins University Model, assembling with foam and an elastic.  They anticipated producing 15,000 by the end of last week.