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Tampa Bay area men make masks, face shields for healthcare workers using 3D printers

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Posted at 6:16 PM, Mar 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-26 01:27:02-04

TAMPA, Fla. — Healthcare workers around the country are worried they don’t have the supplies they need to protect themselves from COVID-19.

It’s why two men who live and work on separate sides of the Tampa Bay area decided to pick up a new trade.

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Jonathan Barnes is a fine arts professor at SPC in Pinellas and Andrew Watson builds furniture, and is the owner, of Built in Tampa. Both of these men are joining the battle against the coronavirus.

“The people that are on the front lines don’t have the right supplies. We wouldn’t send soldiers into battle without proper protection,” said Barnes.

It’s why they both independently decided to use 3D printers to create face masks and shields.

“If you have the ability to print a mask, and you have a 3D printer sitting there, it’s kind of your service to do this now,” Watson said.

Jonathan has friends in the medical field and Andrew’s mom works in radiology in South Florida.

“She’s been really nervous about everything,” he said.

It takes three hours to print a mask which can be washed and reused. All you need is a N-95 insert.

Watson says you can take an N-95 mask and cut it into six pieces or...

“There’s a company in Montana I believe that shipping out small 2“ x 2“ N-95 mask material that you can insert," Watson said.

It takes two hours for Jonathan to print two shields and says a handful of friends are printing too.

“The clear part, the Mylar I’m cutting with an X-Acto knife and a roller,” he said. “Art supplies save the day I guess!”

The designs are not patented which means anyone can use them and these two hope more people will.

For more information on the mask design, click here.

For more information on the face shield design, click here.