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Coronavirus Innovation: Airmen 3D Printing Face Shields For Travis AFB Medical Staff

FAIRFIELD (CBS13) — Travis Air Force Base welcomed home the first wave of Americans exposed to the coronavirus just weeks ago. As of April 1, all 850 Grand Princess passengers have been cleared from the quarantine, but the base and its partners continue to fight on the front lines of the coronavirus and it's truly a team effort.

Several flights and groups on base are working closely together to build resources needed to support medical staff at David Grant USAF Medical Center.

"Really, the entire base at this current moment is bound together trying to work to fight this," Staff Sgt. Maximilion Estrada said.

The Phoenix Spark Innovation Cell is tasked with discovering new technology for team Travis while several other flights on base are working to build face shields and mask covers for David Grant medical staff.

READ: Coronavirus Fight: Teen Sets Up Operation To Make Face Shields For Doctors, Nurses

"Due to recent events, we've kind of geared our efforts towards whatever we can to help with the COVID-19 crisis," Master Sgt. Christopher Lauer said.

The airmen are using 3D printing and water jet cutting to create plastic pieces to use for face shield straps with the goal of protecting and extending the life of N95 masks.

Staff Sgt. Estrada started the 3D printing in his own garage.

"We want to focus on the longevity of our N95 masks, and the best way to do that is by addressing full-face coverage," Estrada said.

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The Travis team has the capability of producing hundreds of pieces needed for shields and covers in just one day. Once the equipment passes its quality control checks it will be used by doctors and nurses on base.

Right now, the shield frames are solely being delivered to David Grant USAF Medical Center, but they will eventually be used for other operations on base to help with the life span of N95 masks.
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