A 13-year-old Virginia boy is trying to make a small difference during the coronavirus outbreak – by 3D printing facial masks from home, according to a new report.
Charles Randolph, of Falls Church, told the local station WJLA he has followed the news of COVID-19 and became worried when he found out about those most at risk for the infection.
“I saw in the news that patients are at high risk [are] People with pre-existing illnesses like heart problems and asthma, ”Randolph told the outlet.
He told the station that he immediately thought of his uncle in need of a heart transplant. He believed that his relative, and others like him, could use a mask in the midst of a wide shortage.
So he got to work with his parents 3D printer, creating a mask he got from a public domain website.
“You use a disc that takes the product you got off [the website] Thingiverse and it turns into code that the 3D printer can read, “Randolph said.
It takes him about 90 minutes and it costs him about a dollar to make a single mask, he told the outlet.
Now he produces more and looks at where he can donate them, he said.
He said the masks probably wouldn’t be enough for doctors and nurses treating COVID-19 patients – but at least they could help his uncle.
Before he created the mask, Randolph only created toys on the 3D printer, he told the station. He took enrichment courses to use the technique when he was younger.
“This is the first real, useful thing I’ve done,” he said. “I feel pretty good. I’m pretty quiet, calm. Yes, I feel pretty good about this. “