WNY couple creates 3D printed face masks for people in the community


BUFFALO N.Y. (WIVB) – We’ve heard of people sewing masks and donating them, but one Western New York couple is kicking up the technology by making masks using a 3D printer.

Thomas Caple and his wife Kristen have had a 3D printer for about a year now. They originally bought one to make figurines and toys for their kids, but when they noticed people were in need of face masks, they say it was clear what they should make next.

“The new rules come out and people want to be prepared,” Thomas said.

People throughout New York state are required to wear face masks in public, and Thomas and Kristen want to make sure everyone has access to proper one.

“It’s more so the peace of mind that you don’t have a bandanna over your face,” Thomas said. “Or what I saw yesterday, an eye mask.”

About two weeks ago the two came across files online showing them how to create a mask on a 3D printer.

“I did a test print, on one of my larger printers and actually the mask came out great,” Thomas said.

They are currently making 3D printed masks and surgical mask bands.

“It was a long process for the first one,” Thomas said. “Now I have it down to where I can make 6 masks at a time about 18, 19 hours.”

Thomas says the masks are no substitute for the N95 mask, the ones doctor’s and nurses treating COVID-19 patients typically wear. The masks they’re creating are to help prevent people from spreading COVID-19, or contracting the disease when at public places. All of the masks and bands they’re making are donated to people in the community who need one.

“For people to actually put trust in somebody to do what they say they’re going to is amazing,” Thomas said.

Thomas and Kristen are accepting donations for materials to make the masks. If interested in helping their cause, click here.

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