In California: The 3D industry, retirees and students respond to the pandemic

In California: The 3D industry, retirees and students respond to the pandemic

It's Arlene Martínez with news to start off your week.

In California breaks down stories and information from newsrooms across the USA TODAY Network and beyond to keep you safe and informed. Subscribe today for free delivery right to your inbox.

Let's start with some top stories to know and share:

Vehicles stand ready at temporary housing for persons ordered to quarantine or isolate due to the coronavirus at the Dockweiler Beach RV Park near El Segundo, Calif., on March 17. Officials have prepared nearly 100 recreational vehicles for people who are not sick enough to be hospitalized but have nowhere else to go, such as the homeless and visitors to the area.

The Bay Area extends its shelter-in-place order through the end of April.

The Trump administration moves to roll back fuel efficiency standards, a move strongly opposed by Golden State leaders.

Workers walk out and strike at Amazon, Instacart and Whole Foods, calling for more protections while on the job and benefits like hazard pay, sick pay when they're self-quarantining, and health benefits for part-time workers.

Fact check: Sunlight does not kill the new coronavirus.

Trailers and motorhomes get new roles as "quarantine and isolation housing" and for placment homeless people. The state plans to get more than 1,300, Gov. Newsom said last week.

California issued a ban last week on evictions if you can't pay rent due to lost income from the coronavirus. Some want rent to be waived altogether, not just deferred, and are floating the idea of a "rent strike."

Scientists are tracking eight strains of the coronavirus as they hunt for treatment and a vaccine.

Golden State coronavirus tracker: 7,146 cases, 146 deaths

Where we were a week ago: 2,138 cases, 39 deaths.

More medical help is on the way as coronavirus cases soar

Two health care workers screen a possible coronavirus patient at a drive-thru testing facility in Indian Wells, Calif., March 19, 2020.

Up to 37,000 unlicensed students and retired medical personnelare now eligible to work the frontlines of the coronavirus surge under new rules Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Monday. His executive order temporarily changes staffing ratios and lifts rules that typically limit the ability of students and nurse practitioners to treat patients.

The order will be in effect until June 30, at which time the state’s licensing rules will go back into effect. Newsom said the number of coronavirus hospitalizations in California has almost doubled over the past four days, jumping from 746 to 1,432. The number of ICU patients has almost tripled, he said, going from 200 to 597 over the same duration.

To find out if you're eligible and to participate, go to https://covid19.ca.gov/healthcorps.

Inside courtrooms, jails and the state's biggest pension fund

Interior of an empty courtroom.

California’s chief justice has directed judges to expand the use of technology to remotely conduct court proceedings, especially for arraignments and preliminary hearings for those in custody. The measures were enacted Saturday during a special meeting of the state's judicial leaders.

"Worse than a cruise ship": Inside the nation's largest jail system, in Los Angeles, civil rights advocates and inmates say social distancing is impossible and critical cleaning supplies are nonexistent.

An 11-year bull economy failed to bring the state's biggest public pension fund anywhere near pre-recession funding. Still, nothing structurally changed about the way it was managed: It still relied on overly optimistic investment returns, employees who paid more toward their retirements received higher salaries equal to that amount and benefits remain unsustainably high (opinion).

A defining crisis — will America emerge stronger?

In this Nov. 24, 1933, file photo, unemployed men wait outside the State Labor Bureau in New York. The epic hardship of the 1930s is the best-known depression in American history, and some economists are concerned the repercussions of the COVID-19 crisis could send the U.S. reeling back to those difficult times.

When historians mark the start of this nation's coronavirus nightmare, they will cite Jan. 21, 2020, the date a Washington state man in his 30s who had visited Wuhan, China, was confirmed as the United States' first COVID-19 case.

Since then, this global crisis has mushroomed into a national defining moment with as yet untallied cultural and economic repercussions. No one questions whether we will be talking about this for generations. If there is debate, it is over the proper historical comparison.

Is this like the 2008 financial crisis, 9/11, World War II? Or perhaps, as some economists predict and news that 3.3 million people applied for unemployment last week suggests, will this be remembered as a period of deep loss and poverty, something like the grim 1930s when unemployment hit 25%?

“This will be very economically disruptive, and an analogy to the Great Depression is the closest to what we may face,” says Stanford University economics professor Matthew Jackson.

If there is cause for optimism in these bleak times, historians, economists and writers say, it is born out of the fact that we as a nation can choose to seize this moment to create an even greater society better poised to protect its citizens from future crises.

Burning Man; Costco adds more senior shopping; more free yoga

Burners climb around on an art installation titled Night of the Climb by Dustin Weatherford at Burning Man on Monday August 27, 2018.

Burning Man delays ticket sales, which were set to start April 8, indefinitely. The event is set for Aug. 30 to Sept. 7 in Northern Nevada's Black Rock Desert.

Costco adds a third day of special shopping hours for those 60 and older, and those with physical impairments.

Downward dog your way into free yoga classes, even by Los Angeles area places that usually charge (donations are gratefully accepted).

Animals in the news

Teddy bears are placed on a windowsill of a home in Mechelen, Belgium, on March 29, 2020, as a new game for children who are passing by during outside walks, can look for teddy bears and count them.

Ventura County cuts animal services to keep people at home and protect workers.

On a related note, what happens to all those new pets once coronavirus ends? Is this going to be like Easter for bunnies?

We're going on a bear hunt: A Redding grandmother asks her neighborhood to join her in putting teddy bears in windows so littles can "hunt" for bears.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service declines to pursue Endangered Species Act protections for sage-grouse populations in California and Nevada.

From fringe to mainstream: The 3D industry in a time of coronavirus

Dave Gaylord is chief technical officer at MatterHackers, based in Lake Forest.

Dave Gaylord is chief tech officer at MatterHackers, a Lake Forest-based 3D printing retailer whose clients include Boeing, Lockheed Martin and small businesses looking for custom products.

As the coronavirus grew to a pandemic, the company saw an opportunity to link hospitals and other institutions in dire need of equipment with makers, engineers and print farms who can make those products quickly.

I talked to Gaylord via email about the industry and its response to coronavirus. The answers have been edited for length and clarity.

Q: When did it become clear the 3-D industry could fill in some gaps in things being used to fight the coronavirus outbreak?

A: When there was an urgent need for supplies, it only made sense that 3D printing would be a solution ... Sarah Flora, program director of 3D Imaging and Printing at Geisinger Health Systems, reached out to MatterHackers requesting help. MatterHackers’ applications engineer was able to quickly design and print reusable straps for critical N95 masks.

Sarah was able to then test the models… and get the green light that they were sufficient to help reuse masks safely, making the crucial gear last longer. This all happened within 2 days.

Q: Does 3D printing and digital manufacturing already have wide use in the medical industry?

A; Absolutely. My background is in medical device design, manufacturing and engineering — having access to 3D printing gives engineers and designers within the medical field the ability to create a functional device in less than an hour … 3D printing has assisted in other ways as well — surgeons can take an MRI scan of a patient and then 3D print it to take a more physical and tactile look at what they might be operating on. It’s used in simulations for med school students, for development in assistive devices like prosthetics, and dentists are even using 3D printing chairside.

Q: Tell me about the MatterHackers Maker Response Hub – how it came to be and what it is.

A: The MatterHackers Maker Response Hub is the center of the wheel in a distributed manufacturing network…. We knew that we were in a unique position — we stand on the shoulders of an incredibly resourceful and creative 3D printing community — friends and customers that have 3D printers.

We created the Hub so we could start connecting the local community to hospitals in need. In the Hub, users with 3D printers can sign up and start printing the approved models. Healthcare professionals can use the hub to register and let us know what their needs are.

Dave Jacek, a Ford 3D-printing technician, is shown wearing a prototype face shield developed for healthcare workers.

Q: Are the things being produced hospital grade?

A: Nothing we are 3D printing has formally passed FDA/CDC regulations — and we proceed with an abundance of caution knowing that — but we’re able to resourcefully fill the needs of hospitals to be able to be more protected. At the end of the day, we leave it to the hospital management to make the final decision of usability of these components. We’re ensuring that the recipients of these 3D printed components are aware of what they are getting.

Q: Things are moving so fast, how do you things get made, tested and sent out in a way that’s safe?

A: We are working directly with the end users and medical facilities to meet their needs. I can create something and send it to a colleague across the world to print, test, and provide feedback. Then I redesign, test, and the next thing you know, we are mass-producing something that was designed in a few hours.

For personal protective equipment that’s being 3D printed to fight COVID-19, we’ve been working directly with hospitals and doctors on the front line — some of which have 3D printers on-site — to test the functionality of the parts.

Q: And you also offer designs for printing that can work to help slow the spread of contamination. What are some of those?

A: Right now, face shields are the main protective gear that people are 3D printing today (that may change tomorrow), but MatterHackers has received requests for other items, like the reusable straps for N95 masks (the masks are resterilized but the straps wear out). A door handle adapter was also requested — even what seems like a simple device allowing someone not to touch a doorknob drastically reduces contamination contact.

Q: What type of response have you gotten from the hub? It seems demand is so high.

A: The response to the Hub has been overwhelming, in the best way. Within 48 hours, we had over 7,000 3D printers signed up to start helping. People are eager to do something during this crazy time. It’s great that MatterHackers and the 3D printing community is able to play a part in supporting those on the front line fighting COVID-19.

A close-up of a 3D printer producing a component.

Q: What role do regulations play in the 3-D industry? What I mean is, rules are getting bent or tossed out to allow for a faster, better response to the pandemic and I’m wondering if the same is happening in your sector.

A: The FDA has released guidance on Additive Manufacturing’s role at this time — we are aware of those guidelines and take them into consideration, always proceeding with caution. While there are ambitions to 3D print N95 masks, valves, ventilators, and critical components that require strict regulating — for good reason — MatterHackers does not have those parts in scope at this point.

The replacement and non-critical components that MatterHackers is arranging are coordinated in direct cooperation with healthcare providers to ensure they meet their individual needs.

Q: Maybe it’s too early to stay, but has the pandemic got you thinking of different directions MatterHackers and/or the industry could move?

AA: We are hopeful that the MatterHackers Maker Response Hub can become a long-term platform to continue to use distributed manufacturing to fill needs. Because our 3D printing community can design and produce things quickly, this distributed manufacturing network can make all the difference in providing critical supplies and relief immediately.

Q: Anything I didn’t ask you about?

A:This technology and this community have all been built over the past few years, mostly in the background, and the general public is just now getting a chance to see what it is really capable of. 3D printing is the way that prototypes and end-use parts are being made now, and will be made in the future.

In California is a roundup of news from across USA TODAY Network newsrooms. Also contributing: Los Angeles Times, Sacramento Bee, National Geographic, San Diego Union-Tribune, the Daily Beast, San Francisco Chronicle.

Source: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/03/30/coronavirus-3-d-printing-shelter-place-teddy-bears-monday-news/5089276002/

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