CCU, The Citadel collaborate to print 3D masks for healthcare workers

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(WSPA) – Coastal Carolina University and The Citadel are collaborating to get 3D-masks printed for healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a news release, West Courtney, a senior at The Citadel in Charleston, and Will Turner, a member of Coastal Carolina’s Board of Trustees, connected about the project.

“My business innovation professor James Bezjian was part of the group that started this,” Courtney said. “After talking with him, I got involved and started trying to find others to help with the project, and that’s when I got in touch with Coastal and Will Turner.”

According to the release, CCU President David A. DeCenzo publicly encouraged institutions in South Carolina to use their 3D printers toward the cause.

The South Carolina Commission for Higher Education then applied for and received funds from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control to support state universities in printing the masks.

“This is a great example of how students and leaders are working together to leverage higher education’s research and development power during a crisis to change people’s lives, impact public health and help our medical professionals who are on the front line,” Dr. Rusty Monhollon, CHE’s president and executive director, said. “We’re excited about expanding this project statewide by tapping into the idle printing capacity at all public institutions. DHEC is providing crucial financial support that will ensure the institutions have the material necessary to print the equipment.”

As of Tuesday, around 40 3D-printed masks have delivered to the Medical University of South Carolina, and that number is expected to climb to 100 by the end of the week.

“I’m thrilled that Coastal Carolina University had the opportunity to be a leader in this important endeavor,” DeCenzo said. “This project shows how we can all come together in innovative ways in times of great need to provide a service that directly and immediately impacts those on the front lines.”

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