Tampa man uses 3D printers to make 'Hero Shields' to help protect mask-averse kids from COVID-19

Michael Guinn has donated 40,000 shields
Posted at 5:09 AM, Jun 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-25 15:07:26-04

TAMPA, Fla. — Moms and dads know the struggle all too well. A lot of children don’t like wearing the protective cloth face masks that can keep them safe during the coronavirus pandemic.

Tampa entrepreneur Michael Guinn heard the parental frustrations, too. For the past two months, he’s used a fleet of 3D printers to make and donate 40,000 protective face shields for medical staff and other front-line workers.

“I’m just glad I can help in a time of need,” says Guinn, whose day job is an engineer for the federal government.

Now he is turning his attention to helping children.

“It’s all about making the kids comfortable, and making it fun for them,” Guinn says.

In a small room in Tampa’s Christ Fellowship Church, where he teaches 3D printing classes, Guinn is using his technology to make colorful “Hero Shields” for a younger clientele.

With a see-thru face plate featuring designs of unicorns, princesses, tigers or famous sci-fi characters, the shields slip on easily and protect tiny faces. They are also a lot less scary than masks.

MRG 3D is strictly donations-based. It is on its way to becoming a full-fledged nonprofit.

Recommended donation for a Hero Shield is $15. For a few extra bucks, Guinn will even make a custom-designed one.

All money collected is then used to donate more gear to people in need.

A lot of summer activities, including trips to Disney and Universal, will require kids to wear protective gear. Guinn is hoping his shields will be a more enjoyable safety alternative — for kids and their parents.