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Vyla Grindberg operates the 3D printers

UCC Engineering Club responds to the need for specialized personal protective equipment.

ROSEBURG, Oregon – It’s amazing how much can be accomplished when people work together. Recently, when UCC’s student government president Jesika Barnes brought up National Nurses Week and the possibility of 3-D printing some face mask straps, an entire chain of events was set in motion.

Vyla Grindberg, ASUCC Officer and Engineering Club President, was moved to contact Professor Clay Baumgartner about using UCC’s 3-D printers to accomplish the task. Interestingly, Baumgartner had already started the project and was willing to grant Grindberg access to the 3-D printing lab.

The project had some challenges to overcome. First, the lab was too far to quickly and continuously access. Plus, the lab had to remain locked, so Grindberg was constantly asking UCC’s security team to unlock the door. Then, Grindberg was granted permission to move a few printers to the LaVerne Murphy Student Center to make rapid prototyping easier. The result was quicker and cleaner 3-D models that helped overcome the technical hurdles.

Some of the first finished products were delivered to UCC Nursing students, the Nursing staff, Hawk Shop employees, and others on campus.

“I got some good feedback from the Hawk Shop employees, and I hope they're working well enough for them still,” Grindberg said. “I understand that it's great to get the pressure off of your ears when you wear a mask day in and day out for a full day.”

3-D printed straps

3-D printed straps in action

Word has been getting around and requests for straps have been coming in from around campus. Grindberg is now working on a larger strap and making more improvements.

“It's been a fun project to get going on,” she said, “and I hope it gives back to those essential employees.”

About Umpqua Community College

Nestled in the beautiful North Umpqua River Valley, Umpqua Community College is the regional center for higher education in Douglas County, Oregon. UCC provides high quality college degree programs, workforce development, and community learning opportunities.

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Phone: 541-440-7749

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