Innovators within the maker movement are mobilizing 3D printers as a stop gap effort to fight COVID-19. Here's what they're building.

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, a network of creators and engineers have turned to 3D printers in response to urgent calls for more medical gear, particularly functional face masks. And this collective effort has inspired a flood of new designs.

3D printing has become an important and unique tool during this global pandemic offering rapid prototyping, personalization, and open source designs.

It is important to remember, though, that a 3D-printed mask is a lot more complicated than it looks. So despite all of the upsides that 3D printing offers, for a face mask to be effective, it needs to be vetted and tested. And so, these DIY masks are recommended to use at your own discretion.

In Part 1 of this Focal Point double feature we took an inside look at the 3D printing companies working to produce PPE at a rapid pace, in Part 2 we focus on the innovators within this 3D printing movement mobilizing printers to produce 3D masks.

Watch to find out more, and if you missed it, check out Part 1 here:

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Making 3D printed face shields, mask accessories and other coronavirus tools

“There's been a renewed interest in at-home 3D printing now that printers can be used for making simple COVID-19 safety gear. Large companies with dozens or even hundreds of professional-grade 3D printers are producing face shield parts and mask clips, as are small businesses with a handful of printers and even individuals with just a single device.”

3 Questions: The risks of using 3D printing to make personal protective equipment

“Professor Martin Culpepper provides caution on the use of 3D printing to make masks and other PPE for individuals on the front lines of the Covid-19 crisis.”

Begging for Thermometers, Body Bags, and Gowns: U.S. Health Care Workers Are Dangerously Ill-Equipped to Fight COVID-19

“As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to grow in the U.S., health care facilities nationwide are contending with an increasing crush of patients, and growing more and more desperate for the tools they need to protect themselves from catching and spreading the virus that causes it.”

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Associated Press 11 May 2020 11:44 CEST

AP Top Stories May 11 A