Andy Andresen has started a new hobby of 3-D printing masks. He has turned his basement into a 3-D mask making factory. Andresen has donated nearly 2,000 masks to hospitals, nursing homes, and first responders.
“It started out I was gonna make a few of these and it just somehow we made quite a few so it’s just one of those things that took off.”
The 3-D printing process is a simple one, Andresen has four machines printing masks. To start out he has a file programmed into the into the 3-D printer to make the shape.
The file then gets sent in an SD card to the machine. Once the machine has the file, the 3-D printing process begins with a role of filament to draw out the design.
“This goes through an extruder that heats it up and then deposits it on a build plate.” Said Andresen. “If you think about taking like a hot glue gun and you know, making a shape with a hot glue gun and then coming back and making that same shape again on top and then on top and you start to build layers in 3-D.”
Andresen has a background in broadcast engineering so this has been easy for him to mass produce. He says he was looking for any way that he could help out with the Coronavirus Pandemic going around.
“It’s a labor of love. I don’t have any medical abilities, I can’t help people, I can’t do anything like that, but I can print plastic.” Andresen said. “I’m pretty good at that.”
Andresen says that he plans to continue printing the masks until the need no longer exists.