WILMETTE, IL — Dozens of plastic straps for surgical face masks produced with Loyola Academy's 3D printer and the help of one of its teachers have been distributed to the Wilmette Police Department, the school announced Monday.
Sam Walker, of the Wilmette police, contacted Assistant Principal Lauren Bonner to find out if the temporarily shuttered school building had any available 3D printers, according to a release. The department needed to make 70 straps for officers and staff members to wear during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Walker had a design file, but no available printers, so Bonner contacted Justin Hart, an art and design teacher at Loyola.
Hart prepared the print files provided by police and changed nozzles on each of the school's machines to optimize printing times. He then taught Walker how to use Loyola's 3D printers, staying at least six feet from one another during the tutorial, according to the release.
The project took shape over Easter weekend, it said. Wilmette police officers then took turns monitoring the printers, keeping them full of supplies and managing their resets for the seven to nine hours it took to print.
"There is simply no way I would have been able to accomplish this without his help," Walker said of Hart. "His knowledge of 3D modelling and his willingness to help in times of need are a credit to Loyola Academy and to the Wilmette community."