COOKEVILLE – Tennessee Higher Education Commission and Gov. Bill Lee have a goal to use 3-D printers to manufacture headbands for COVID-19 facemasks.
Tennessee Tech has already operationalized, and the initiative is spreading across partner institutions and community members in three Upper Cumberland counties. And it’s growing by the minute.
“The state goal is to print 10,000,” said Michael Aikens, the Tennessee Center for Rural Innovation Director. “Tech’s goal is 250-300 by Tuesday, and we are expecting to meet and exceed that goal. The military is providing Blackhawk pickup and transport on Tuesday.”
What Tennessee Tech is doing right now:
· Already printing today: Tennessee Tech Makerspace, College of Engineering additive labs, Oakley STEM Center, Agriculture engineering lab, College of Education, and a few students who own 3-D printers
· Rural Reimagined and other clubs have a call out for students who own 3-D printers
· RAM clinic is sewing n95 masks, also reports that various community groups are doing the same.
What Upper Cumberland community is doing right now:
· Already printing today: engineering educator from Cookeville High School (Rep. Ryan Williams and his son Tyson are assisting) and STEM educators from Prescott Middle, Prescott Elementary, Capshaw and Algood
· Clay, Jackson, and Overton leadership/STEM educators are working to assist and should operationalize soon
· A volunteer network has been established to assist with print cleanup (cleaning the prints with acetate and sandpaper to make them usable)
For more information, contact Aikens at (931) 372-3810.