Dedicating himself to his country and community, Shippensburg University ROTC Cadet William Lamont V is making the most of his time in quarantine by manufacturing 3D printed face shields for healthcare workers and first responders.
Lamont, a supply chain management major, has always been committed to his community. He worked as a Motor Transport Operator for the PA Army National Guard in 2017, and enrolled in the ROTC program at Shippensburg in 2018 to enhance his leadership abilities.
“The National Guard and ROTC embody the idea of community service. Ever since I was young, I was raised around community involvement and even earned the rank of Eagle Scout in my Scouting career. All my life, whenever I noticed any part of my community in need, I stepped up to help out and serve.”
In the wake of COVID-19, Lamont’s service mentality motivated him to help organizations who were running out of protective equipment. Since mid-March, he has used his own 3D printer to manufacture more than 300 face shields.
Lamont, 21, of Collegeville, received the 3D printer as a Christmas gift a few years ago and has been increasing his knowledge and skills ever since. He found the 3D files online to print the shields and immediately went to work. Tons of orders continued to pour in.
He sought the help of the Phoenixville Area COVID-19 Makers to fulfill his orders within a reasonable time frame. “I reached out to them and they were able to fulfill my order within days.”
Lamont officially joined the group to produce more face shields at no cost to the users. Together, they have supplied more than 8,000 3D printed face shields, 4,000 cloth masks, and 1,500 ear savers for healthcare workers and first responders.
When normal supply chains became overwhelmed with providing enough protective equipment, Lamont immediately acted to fill this need and serve those on the front lines.
“I make the shields by first downloading the 3D model and running it through a slicing software that writes the code for the 3D printer. I then save the code to the SD card and put it in my 3D printer. I then select that code and print it. I print two face shields at a time and it takes around an hour and 15 minutes to print two, so it takes about 40 minutes a face shield. I then three-hole punch an overhead projector sheet, twice offsetting the holes by about an inch, and then attach that to the face shield. I then wipe it all down with isopropyl alcohol to disinfect it.”
Lamont said he enjoys attending SU.
“Shippensburg University is a great university with friendly, understanding professors. I joined the ROTC program because I was already enlisted in the National Guard and I wanted to change to the officer route. Shippensburg is a great small town that still has a lot of things to do. It has taught me the smaller the community, the more people you see helping each other.”
The son of William IV and Diane Lamont said it feels good knowing he is helping to keep those that are risking their lives on the front lines safe.
“The current situation has let a lot of people learn about themselves and it has been a great opportunity for people and businesses to see how well they are prepared for the unknown,” he added. “Seeing strangers come together in other people’s time of need has demonstrated that we are all still reliant on those around us even if we don't know them. It has been very humbling to see strangers come together to help people that they don’t know.”
Editor’s note: Managing Editor Denise Bonura contributed to this article.