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Virginia Man Uses 3D Printer to Make Mask Shields for Health Workers


Jeremy Filko of Virginia wears one of his 3D-printed shields over a medical mask. (Photo courtesy of Jeremy Filko)

A Virginia man is doing his part to help medical workers caring for people with COVID-19.

Jeremy Filko is using his 3-D printer to create plastic mask shields for doctors, nurses and other first responders. Due to a shortage, some medical workers are being asked to reuse their N95 medical face masks, which are usually discarded after one use.

"Everybody heard about the huge shortages," Filko says. "So, I wanted to help them have a higher probability of not having a mask get soiled."

Filko is not charging medical personnel for the mask shields, and he's even covering the cost of shipping.

"Our doctors, our nurses, our EMT, first responders and all the people that support them are running to the sound of the guns. They shouldn't have to pay for that," Filko says. "It's very personal to me that this is free and always free for a time of crisis. It’s not the time to sit down and worry about making money."

Filko says 114 other people across the country who also have 3-D printers, have joined him in the effort to make the mask shields.

"And that is probably the single most warming thing, is reaffirming my belief β€” which I've struggled with in the past β€” that people really want to come together," Filko says. "There's a lot more that holds us together than pulls us apart."

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