Members of the Sul Ross State University faculty are collaborating with local doctors and nurses in the fight against COVID-19.

According to Dr. Jennifer Miller Ray, Educational Instructional Technology Coordinator, through the use of campus 3-D printers, SRSU faculty and medical professionals are devising innovative methods in developing personal protection equipment (PPE) and other medical supplies.

“Many communities are supporting the battle against COVID-19 through technology available in makerspaces, which are collaborative workspaces containing a variety of tools for making, learning, exploring and sharing,” Ray said.

She added that laser cutters, 3-D printers, computer numerical control routers and mills, and even sewing machines could potentially be utilized to fabricate much-needed PPE for medical professionals and parts for the ventilators that keep COVID-19 patients alive.

“Creating a collaborative space such as this at Sul Ross would assist in helping us meet not only needs like COVID-19, but could also assist in informal education approaches to improve literacies,” she said.

Ray noted that Sul Ross is actively working with medical professionals in the tri-county area to manufacture items using 3-D printing or locate supplies.

”My background is in makerspace and STEM literacies,” said Ray. “So I have connected us to the relief group located in San Antonio and to a makerspace community supporting the surrounding San Antonio area.”

Ray said that the early goal is to produce 50 face shields.

“Dr. [Angela] Brown has been working hard testing designs and printing out shields with our 3-D printers,” said Ray.

She added that other local entities have been supporting the battle against the pandemic.

“The Alpine Public Library has been printing out items to support the regional effort,” she said.

To date, only one confirmed case of COVID-19 has been reported within the tri-county area.

According to information released by the Brewster County Sheriff’s Office last week, the individual is in their late 60s and resides in South Brewster County.

The individual has been directed to self-quarantine.

For more information on SRSU’s efforts to help in the fight against COVID-19 through 3-D printing technology, contact Ray at (432) 837-8013 or email jennifer.miller@sulross.edu.