Ukrainian school’s 3D printers used by students and teachers to produce medical supplies

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CHERNIVTSI, Ukraine—Ukrainian students are using 3D printers at their school to create medical supplies to help support the health and well-being of their community as Russia’s war on their country continues.

A group from the ORT Chernivtsi Jewish School worked together to design and produce much-needed tourniquets for victims of military attacks. Their improvised bandages have already been used by civilians suffering from profuse bleeding.

The students, aged 10 to 16, were determined to help their fellow Ukrainians. Initially, their efforts were part of the ORT Gina and Joseph Harmatz Global Award for Social Responsibility, which recognizes the positivity of tikkun olamteam spirit, ability to anticipate and solve problems.

But with the continued need for medical supplies, the youth team is now determined to help save lives and has extended production indefinitely.

They include eighth graders Kirill and Kyrystyna, and ninth graders Victoria and Artem. “We are very committed to our involvement in helping to save people. In these difficult days for our people, we want to be helpful,” they said. “Tourniquets are necessary in case of injuries; they help stop bleeding and save lives. The first tourniquet we printed was thoroughly tested by doctors. As long as there is a need, we will continue to produce them.

The team saw a video about the need for tourniquets earlier this year and realized that the school’s 3D printer could be used. ORT’s emphasis on technology education teaches students the skills necessary to gain expertise for employment in in-demand fields. Working in tandem with its Global Citizenship curriculum, the approach also helps students develop a better understanding of moral and ethical issues, enabling them to make more informed choices for themselves and for society.

Dan Green, Managing Director and CEO of World ORT, said: “The work of Chernivtsi students to produce these vital medical supplies is as moving as it is educationally impressive. We prepare our students to live socially responsible lives and to see our values ​​come to life in this way is incredibly meaningful.

Artem first developed a model based on a sample of an industrial format, and drawings were made using a 3D computer program. Extensive testing took place before the first print, and the process was completed by sewing the pieces together. The ability for emergency medical teams to write medical notes, such as information on where and when the tourniquet was applied to the patient, was also included in the design.

Teacher Halyna Madey noted that there were some difficulties in the process: “At the beginning of production, we were looking for materials for the manufacture but there were problems with the supply of material for the tourniquets and the slings of Odessa”.

A colleague contacted a supply company in Lviv, which provided the materials for free when she heard what the students were trying to do. When the first batch of tourniquets was shipped, users reported that despite some technical shortcomings, the tourniquets helped stop bleeding. Students pushed to do more.

Some 130 tourniquets had been produced by early July, with the team working tirelessly at the school’s design centre. Chernivtsi in southwestern Ukraine remained relatively calm, despite the effects of the conflict on the rest of the country, and students were able to continue their work in school buildings.

Students at ORT’s Chernivtsi Jewish School use a 3D printer to produce much-needed tourniquets for victims of military attacks. Credit: ORT.

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