December 3 is 3D Printing Day (D3 for 3D), and what better way to celebrate it than to showcase those who are using the innovative technology for good.
So, we connected with Justin Griffith, Chief Technology Officer of StayLinked, a Zebra Premier Independent Software Vendor (ISV) Partner, to learn more about how he and a team of software engineers banded together with only a 3D printer and an idea to help 50,000 healthcare workers stay safe during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Therese: First off, thank you for stepping up to help restore our front-line heroes during the pandemic.
Justin: It was my pleasure. I’ve personally been 3D printing since about 2013. Truthfully, during the early shelter-in-place orders I was very grateful to have something that I loved doing turn out to be the thing we as a team could do to support others. For a number of weeks, it felt like there was just nothing that could be done about any of it, and the biggest contribution we could make was not being part of the problem. It was a unique experience being able to help friends, family, and their friends and family.
Therese: I know you gave back to local and global communities in many different ways during the pandemic. Can you tell us a little bit about your efforts?
Justin: StayLinked has always had a straightforward mission: “To be the most innovative and well-respected software provider in the markets we serve by continuing our commitment to total customer satisfaction.”
We’ve spent the last year and a half doing what we could to achieve that objective. Initially, that meant finding ways to operate our business and support our customers and partners in a safe and healthy way while searching for opportunities to contribute to the greater good.
As the challenges of COVID-19 changed, we found ourselves frustrated with not being able to help because much of the world was sheltering in place, effectively quarantined. But some of the StayLinked team explored what was possible in trying to meet some of the challenges in the early days of the pandemic.
Therese: What did they learn?
Justin: Many organizations were crowdsourcing incredibly scarce medical personal protective equipment (PPE) and supplies for front-line healthcare workers. If you recall, the first signs of strain on the supply chain for PPE began to manifest in Europe and Asia. So, when the same symptoms began to hit the U.S. weeks later, we knew we had to help. That’s when we fired up our 3D printers and started making reusable face shields.