Washington, DC

“Jonah Docter-Loeb with a face shield”

From a press release:

“To protect the D.C. area’s essential workers from exposure to COVID-19, Georgetown Day School senior Jonah Docter-Loeb founded a partnership of more than 100 volunteers, the DC Mutual Aid Network, Eaton DC, and other local organizations to produce and distribute 3D-printed face shields.

The group, which recently named itself “Print to Protect” produced more than 1,000 shields in the first week of April. Five hundred of these have already been donated to the staff at MedStar Washington Hospital and United Medical Centers. At the current rate of production, Docter-Loeb anticipates the group will be able to create 15,000 shields by the end of the month. When used in conjunction with a medical face mask, these shields provide Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-recommended levels of protection to professionals who come into contact with carriers of COVID-19 during the course of their work.

“When my school closed in March, I knew I wanted to use my newfound free time to join the global fight against the coronavirus and assist those who put themselves on the line,” Docter-Loeb said.

Initially, they used their school’s resources to print 3D face shields on their own. But they soon realized that they could make a larger impact by broadening the project’s scope. Emily Scarrow, Georgetown Day School Junior and Head of Community Outreach, connected Docter-Loeb with volunteers from across the DC area, and since then the operation has grown quickly. First their fellow students joined them, then other local printers, and then community partners, including Eaton DC, a local co-working space and hotel.

Once the centralized printer farm and assembly center was established, the group was able to expand the operation. They tapped into Reddit’s 3D homegrown printing community and local email groups to engage more partners from around the region, bringing on hobbyists, engineers, scientists, and designers–all looking to volunteer their resources and skills. Now the group includes more than 100 people, each playing an important role in the effort’s production chain. Once completed, all of the face shield components are carefully packaged and brought to Eaton DC for assembly and distribution.

“Starting out, I knew there was a shortage of personal protective equipment throughout the country and I am thankful that we have already been able to support our local hospitals and clinics with donations. Our goal is to continue helping those on the front lines fighting this virus. We are grateful for the generous donations we have received and the partnerships we have made to achieve this goal” said Margaret Tilmes, Head of Hospital Outreach.

The team now has nearly 90 3D printers running around the clock to produce as many shields as possible. With medical professionals across the country in dire need of personal protective equipment, they need additional help to ensure that these vital shields get to as many individuals as possible.

“We are proud to support this grassroots effort to help frontline medical workers get the protection they need to stay safe,” said Carnegie Institution for Science President Eric D. Isaacs. “Print to Protect’s mission has brought together professional materials scientists like our own Tim Strobel, with hobbyists and others–all thanks to an enterprising local high school student.”

If you are interested in helping to protect healthcare workers throughout the region by contributing to Print to Protect, please support the effort by volunteering to register your home 3D printer or transport materials and face shields to the hospitals that need them. You can also get involved by contributing to the group’s Amazon registry or GoFundMe page, or by donating extra supplies from home. For additional information, contact Emily Scarrow, Head of Community Outreach, at [email protected] or visit https://www.printtoprotect.org/.

“In the midst of a global pandemic, it is natural to feel like you can’t do anything. But, now more than ever, it’s vital to come together, and support those of us who are facing the virus head on. It’s important to convert empathy into action,” said Docter-Loeb.”


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