Patrick Jones is using his love of 3D printing to assist Operation Face Shield battle spread of COVID-19 in Michigan.
When faced with the COVID stay-at-home order, Patrick Jones, 25, a project engineer at Ricardo North America in Belleville, decided to put his unique skills and 3D printer to work by creating personal protective equipment (PPE) face shields for first-responders and hospital workers.
Jones, a resident of Ann Arbor, said he was shocked when reports of PPE face mask shortages hit news outlets in April, so he sought a way to safely fight the virus. He said it was common sense to use his 3D printer to help make PPE masks because his community was in peril.
Jones hooked up with a collective of local residents known as Maker Works, who use personal 3D printers to create PPE face shield frames. The frames are then given to Operation Face Shield Ann Arbor, where they are assembled with a see-through plastic frame and distributed to doctors, EMTs and nurses throughout Michigan.
Although Patrick simply wanted to quietly pitch-in during the crisis, printing roughly 20 frames per day, his after-hours philanthropy was spotted by Ricardo North America President Marques McCammon, who pledged to donate see-through face shield parts and funds for printing materials to create an additional 5,000 masks for the cause.
“It’s great to feel that you can make a positive impact during a time like this. Some may feel the stay-at-home orders limit what they can do, but I decided to find ways in which I could be part of the solution,” Jones said. “I am very thankful that Ricardo is willing and able to support the efforts of Operation Face Shield and the community – they are adding a much-needed boost in scale for the project that is making a positive impact.”
By mid-July, Operation Face Shield had distributed 41,000 face shields to hospitals and first responders throughout Michigan including Beaumont hospitals in Royal Oak, Wayne and Dearborn, St. Joe’s in Ann Arbor, St. Mary’s in Livonia, ProMedica in Adrian and Munson Medical Center in Traverse City. And there’s more to come.
“Patrick is an amazing young man with a true philanthropic spirit,” McCammon said. “Ricardo North America encourages all of its employees to give back to their community and Patrick’s truly inspirational work is guidepost for all of us to follow during this difficult time.”
Jones said that the face shields that are being financed by Ricardo North America will be provided to small businesses and community members.