Students and faculty from the Salamanca City School District are pooling their resources to create 3D-printed parts for reusable face masks to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Amid reports of the shortages, a platoon of 3D printer-users have been deployed in the Salamanca community to manufacture protective gear from home offices and the recently opened STEAM Wing for health workers.

Retired Dell computer engineer, David Springer, who assists with evening operations of the temporarily vacant Warrior STEAM Wing, said “Each mask costs just over $2 to print with plastic. We have equipment, knowledge, and technology. I thought we can do this.” Springer immediately reached out to Aaron Straus, Salamanca HS Steam Coordinator, who put in a request to access the STEAM lab.

“We asked the district administration (Dr. Beehler and Mr. Breidenstein) to let a small strike team assemble into the school to run the 3D printers said Straus. “We got the OK on Monday, and by Tuesday, our team was printing our first face mask.”

“Each N95 mask is made of three parts. The largest piece, the face shield, takes about two hours to print; two smaller pieces take about 25 minutes each.” “The 3D N95 face masks have an area where particle filters can be replaced,” commented Salamanca student, Cole Johnson. “After sanitization, this allows the masks to be reusable.”

Boundless Connections, a technology resource, and training company headquartered in Olean, worked with infectious disease experts of the Cattaraugus County COVID response task force to design the mask to specifically protect the whole face for medical professionals. More information with the connection between Boundless Connections and Dream It, Do It: https://www.facebook.com/256750394380053/posts/2777889958932738/?d=n

Health agencies can request 3D-printed mask donations from Christine Lopez clopez@boundlessconnections.com.

People interested in printing their N95 masks can find the 3D files at https://copper3d.com/hackthepandemic/.

To learn more about the Salamanca City Central School District visit www.SalamancaNY.org. You can also find them on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/SalamancaWarriors.

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Rural School’s STEM Program 3D Prints Masks and Face Shields to Fight Pandemic