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WST PPE Grant Recipient Highlight - Hector Calles

Anaplastology Awareness Month 2020

Hector Calles is one of six grant recipients recently selected for a WST PPE Grant, which supports individuals employing 3D printing to create PPE for frontline workers. These projects play a huge role in supporting communities affected by PPE shortages due to COVID-19.

Read about Hector's efforts to serve healthcare workers in Chicago.

My Name is Hector Calles. I grew up in Back of the Yards on the south side of Chicago. I attended De La Salle Institute on 35th and Michigan Avenue Class of 2004. I Joined the Marines Corps in May of 2008 and was medically discharged due to back injuries. Those injuries gave me the time to get into 3D printing and CAD modeling. I have been 3D printing and expanding my CAD modeling skills since November of 2015.

In the 3D printing Facebook community, many of my fellow makers were 3D printing the Prusa face shields and donating them to their local hospitals back in March. I decided to get involved to 3D print and donate the Prusa Face shields with the stockpile I used to 3D print my designs that I sell on I had to shut down my small home 3D printing business to contribute to the cause. As I was running out of those materials, friends recommended I start a GOFUNDME page to help with productions cost. Those donations allowed me to pay for some bills and buy more materials, cleaning and disinfecting products, along with the clear plastic sheets and 3D printer replacement parts. I started 3D printing the Prusa Face shields back at the end of March into the middle of May when the money and materials ran out. I completely lost count of how many 3D printed ear savers and face shields were printed. Somewhere close to 800 parts combined. Some were donated to Casa Central who then donated them to different hospitals and nursing homes in the Chicagoland Area. Others went to Levi Raskin, the admin of the Covid-19 Chicago Facebook group. More went to friends, and friends of friends who work in the medical field and did not have access to face shields.

I can no longer afford to keep 3D printing PPE as there is no more money to keep doing it. I wish I had been able to make more but still feel good about donating my time, money and knowledge of 3D printing while I was able to. Thank you for your donations to help pay off some of my huge electric bill from May. Anything helps.

Images courtesy of Hector Calles.

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