MONTEVALLO, Ala. (WBRC) - Michael Martin teaches math and an underwater robotics class at Montevallo High School, but when he saw the need for personal protection equipment during this COVID-19 pandemic, he turned to a 3D printer in his classroom and to his daughter for help.
In his many years of teaching, Martin never thought a 3D printer would help in a time like this.
“No, not at all. We were looking at this as an educational tool and helping kids develop that skill, but now in this time of need, its not just meeting a skill but meeting a need, and I find that much more important,” Michael Martin said.
Martin and his daughter Miranda, a senior at Montevallo High School, are manning the 3D printer 24 hours a day. It takes about five hours to make one mask and about two hours for a face shield.
“It’s really emotional on my point of view because I want to help those people who can’t help themselves and who have compromised immune systems and who are older and who need this kind of help,” Miranda said.
Martin said they got the idea to use a 3D from an online group in Tennessee and have since teamed up with the University of Montevallo to help make masks and distribute them across Shelby County.
“We’re stronger together than we are separate so we joined forces to meet that need," Martin added.
The 3D printer can make about 10 face shields and masks a day. The masks even have a space to put an N-95 filter for those in the medical field.
“I never thought that we’d be able to mass produce face shields or mass produce face masks for local hospitals and I think its something incredible that we can turn this bad thing into something better,” Miranda said.