They're called the Print to Protect Coalition.
Manteca dentist Nabeel Cajee and others in the Central Valley are part of the recently established non-profit group that's working to meet the needs of frontline healthcare workers, first responders and essential employees during the COVID-19 pandemic, pooling their resources to develop protective face shields with the plastic visors.
"Those are the ones that have proven to be very effective (Personal Protective Equipment)," Cajee said on Monday.
He's volunteered the use of the same 3D printer in his practice for dental prosthetics and implant surgical guides.
Since March 17, the practice he shares with brother Mas'ood Cajee at 132 Sycamore Ave. in Manteca, in accordance with the California Dental Association’s recommendation as well as those of state and federal agencies, has been closed.
"When we reopen – however long from now – we will be doing our practice in a different manner,” Cajee recently said.
About a month ago, he was looking to produce N95 respirator masks due to the dire shortage.
But that changed not too long ago. Cajee said that Representative Josh Harder's office -- via the Central Valley PPE initiative, a centralized relief effort to collect and deliver much-needed medical supplies to first responders and frontline healthcare workers -- requested help to make faceshields over that of masks.
The Print to Protection Coalition took it from there, turning to others with 3D printers and lasercutters. The latter is more in demand.
"We have roughly 25 3D printers and four or five lasercutters," Cajee said.
The Print to Protection Coalition is also getting a boost from the University of the Pacific's HATCH Workshop, a non-profit offering community access to tools, machinery, equipment and communal workplaces, and Lathrop High instructor Scott Myer of the BE.tech Charter High School programs of the Manteca Unified School District.
They're all part of the assembling network of manufacturing the facemasks.
The group just received 4,000 square foot of PETG plastic from the Coca Cola Company -- that's the same plastic used in bottled water and soft drinks -- and 5,000 facial frames from Maker Nexus.
"What we need onboard are laser cutters," Cajee said.
Information on Print to Protect Coalition is available on Facebook.