The University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez (known as RUM) and the Makers Against COVID-19 (MAC19) collective have donated a combined 2,300 face shields — 855 of which have gone to health professionals in Puerto Rico’s western region.
The entities signed a collaboration agreement that will strengthen the distribution logistics of this protection equipment.
“This coalition means the union of two entities totally committed to the well-being of Puerto Rico’s medical personnel,” said Armani Cabán, a graduate of the RUM’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, who along with James Stuart, a student from the same department, created MAC19 to bring together the efforts of people wanting to use their 3D printers to design the face shields.
“It symbolizes Makers’ confidence in the RUM, which given its prestige, gives us an advantage in reaching more people. In addition, it represents the respect the RUM has for its students and young professionals to carry out a positive social aid initiative,” Cabán said.
The RUM set up its production line to the school’s Industrial Engineering Model Manufacturing operation, where seven of 12 3D printers were set up to produce the face shields. Of the 855 shields distributed along the western region, some 550 were made at the RUM, said José Lugo, mechanical engineering professor in charge of the operation.
The plan calls for delivering more of the face shields in coming weeks, he said.
Meanwhile, MAC19’s call has drawn islandwide collaboration with 50 3D printers dedicated to the operation. The Puerto Rico Rise Up Foundation donated money to buy five of the printers that will be transferred to the RUM.
Makers also has “an extensive list” of medical contacts and materials suppliers, Cabán said.
Agustín Rullán-Toro, dean of the RUM, announced earlier this month the creation of RUM Technical Response and Innovation Center, whose mission is to expedite proposals that arise in the university community to contribute to the management of the world health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.