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‘A way we can help:’ 3D printers helping create face shield masks for medical workers

Data pix.

GREELEY, Colo. (KDVR) -- This is the sound of innovation. As the coronavirus continues to spread rapidly --  healthcare workers are facing a shortage of medical supplies.

“We are trying to see if there’s a way we can help on all fronts,” Nick Yosha, co-owner of 3D Printing Colorado said.

That's where the Yosha family comes in.

“I probably have 15 machines running right now,” Yosha said.

They've turned their 3D printing business into a manufacturing site for protective masks for doctors and nurses treating patients with COVID-19.

“I can produce about 100 a day,” Yosha said.

Here's how it works: Yosha sent the order to this 3D printer that's right now making a prototype for a local hospital. In two hours time, it's done. A big benefit, Yosha says these masks can be safely re-used.

“When they go from one patient to another, they clean it and sterilize and go on to the next. Because it’s made out of plastic, it can be cleaned as opposed to paper masks,” Yosha said. “We are learning as we go. If it doesn’t work, we can make changes to the design and print another one."

Right now, Genesis Plastics Technologies in Greeley, a company called upon by the governor's task force, is mass producing plastic face shields.

“From the face shield side, we can produce 5,000 to 6,000 per hour,” Jake Comer, sales manager with Genesis Plastics Technologies said. “The challenge here is the halo ring, which the face shield attaches to, and currently as a bridge we’re having those items 3D printed.”

Genesis is calling on 3D printers across the state of Colorado, like Yosha's, to help print halos until they can get to a higher manufacturing process.

“We take this as a challenge first of all, and as an honor to do what we can and make people of Colorado proud,” Comer said.

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