SUNY DELHI- An instructor another area college is using his area of expertise to help in the production of PPE.
Dennis Aikens, a mechatronics instructor at SUNY Delhi, has been manufacturing an adapter that turns SCUBA masks into usable medical masks.
One side of the adapter, which acts as a sealant, attaches to the SCUBA mask, while the other connects to an N-95 rated filter.
Aikens is using a 3-D printer he borrowed from the SUNY Delhi mechatronics department to print the pieces.
Aikens and SUNY Delhi have been working with Alpine Roofing, which is supplying the SCUBA masks, as well as Otsego Northern Catskills BOCES and Stanford University to share information.
Aikens has given masks to area hospitals for them to do their own testing of the equipment, while Stanford is in the process of getting their masks FDA approved, something Aikens is hopeful will come soon for his equipment as well.
“This is actually a proven concept. They’ve been using them in Europe already. And there’s actually multiple states that are actually starting to buy these masks up. Right now, it’s really about getting approval from the FDA, the state, to actually use those parts because they’re not FDA approved at this time,” says Aikens.
Another issue is the time it takes to make the adapters.
As of now, Aikens can only print about five to six pieces at a time in a span of 10 hours.
However, the slow manufacturing won’t stop Aikens as he is planning on printing as many adapters as possible until they run out of materials.