Alpha Micro Tech was building, manufacturing, and distributing its device designed to keep sterilization records within the dental industry across North America when business came to a halt due to the COVID0-19 pandemic.
Now, the small Brantford based business is doing its part to help frontline health workers in the community by manufacturing brackets for face masks.
Alpha Micro Tech has donated close to 6,000 pieces to date. The brackets are provided to frontline workers at nursing homes and hospitals across the globe.
“We decided we could stay at home and sulk about it, or we could help,” explains the company’s Vice President, Lorraine Pedersen. “We were told these brackets were going to be necessary. Somebody knew we had a 3D printer and asked if we could build them a few. I posted it on social media, and it went viral. We realized frontline workers were begging for these things after a full 12-hour shift.”
“(The brackets) are made on the 3D printer with a very hard filament that melts and becomes very pliable,” Pedersen says. “It’s softer to the back of the head. The other brackets out there are done on presses, so they don’t have that soft edge to them. So they’re actually poking into the head and the back of the neck. They’re made with a resin plastic. Where these are made with a printer, and they are very soft.”
“We had to do it. We couldn’t worry about the dollar signs – that will come later. It was just that we needed to help and there was no price tag on helping.”Lorraine Pedersen, Alpha Micro Tech
With the help of financial aid provided by the government, Pedersen says the company was able to handle existing expenses and add the necessary machinery required for their new project. The operation began with one 3D printer, and they now have nine.
Pedersen adds the process is time-consuming. Each machine can create six to eight pieces every two hours, therefore and order of 1000 pieces can take several days to complete.