In the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, 3-D printing technology has got in the spotlight for manufacture of personal protective equipment. At present, entrepreneurs, well-doers are engaged to convert factories, shops, and even basements of home into assembly lines to manufacture personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers.
Prior to this, 3-D printing technology was once best known for its nationwide distribution by a Texas company for homemade handguns. Today, 3-D printing is being considered as a potential lifesaver to manufacture masks, shields, visors, and PPE to those serving COVID-19 patients.
Maker Mask of Microsoft Connection first to receive NIH Certification
Meanwhile, all personal protective equipment manufactured using 3-D printing for coronavirus are not equal, opines Jonathan Roberts, onetime Microsoft executive. Amidst concerns of uniformity of PPE produced using 3-D printing, the Microsoft executive leveraged his connections at Seattle-based tech firms and non-profits. This is to fast-track a solution for both federal approval and wider distribution.
In the past week, ‘Maker Mask’ – manufactured by the Microsoft executive became the first of its kind to receive certification of National Institutes of Health for COVID-19 response. Available free of cost, the mask manufactured using 3-D printer covers the mouth contrasting the hooded versions of masks.
For confidence of users, the mask sends a signal of having gone through vetting process to those downloading it, commented the Microsoft executive. The mask is approved for first responders such as police, firefighters, rescue workers, and other emergency personnel. However, the mask is not approved for use in medical facilities. Nevertheless, the mask went through rigorous examination based on which the feedback is provided. The vetting the mask undergoes is enough for confidence of those printing it and handing it to first responders.
As of Friday, instructions for making the reusable masks have been downloaded 35,000 times across 117 countries.