3D Printing Helps Afghan Refugees

By: Anabelle Farfan 

Photos:Unsplash and Pixabay

“Face shields made with a 3-D printer on Marymount’s campus will help Afghan refugees,” Dr. Eric Bubar said.

“Face shields made with a 3-D printer on Marymount’s campus will help Afghan refugees,” Dr. Eric Bubar said. From creating prosthetic limbs for those in need to making face shields during the pandemic, Bubar has reached celebrity status on campus with his 3-D printing. As thousands of Afghan refugees enter the United States after the military withdrawal, Bubar said he will donate extra face shields to protect incoming Afghan refugees arriving in the United States against COVID. 

At the beginning of the pandemic, Bubar wanted to do whatever he could to help those who were working the front lines. He brainstormed and decided he was going to 3-D print face shields. Not long after Bubar found himself shipping 15,000 face shields all over the country. As the desperate need for face shields decreased, Bubar was left with boxes of unclaimed face shields. With Bubar’s help, many refugees can increase protection against the deadly virus and avoid spreading it. 

The Department of Homeland Security approximates that there are 65,000 refugees that have arrived thus far. Most, if not all, of these refugees are expected to not have been vaccinated. That means they will need far more protection from this virus than most, especially with the spread of the delta variant. Although face shields are only minimal protection, when using them with a face mask they are medically considered to be highly effective according to the CDC. According to Bubar, he is still searching for places to donate these face masks but has been in talks with a few places. 

Marymount introduced the first 3-D printing lab back in 2014, and Bubar paved the way for its success. Bubar works on other projects other than face shields, which include creating prosthetic limbs and making holiday toys for those in third world countries. 

Alongside him are several students who contribute to the success of the lab. Ryan Malani, a junior at Marymount, said he is working on recreating a popular virtual reality game, Beat Saber. Bubars students are amazed with what the lab has to offer to so many people. Overall, the atmosphere of the lab is a welcoming one. Aileen Martinez, a junior, took Bubars class in Spring of 2020 said, “I first saw Bubars lab when I took one of his classes, he showed the class one of his 3-D printed prosthetic limbs and everyone was amazed with how detailed it was.” Aileen hopes that one day the lab can 3-D print supplies for students in need.


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