Local Artist Begins 3D Printing PPE Supplies for Medical Staff Around the Country
By Kylie Cooper
Alexis Kadonsky, an Island resident and phenomenal artist, decided to take a matter of necessity into her own hands.
While spending time working from home, Kadonsky felt the urge to do something more. Her creative mind and heart for others kicked into gear and the production of 3D printed PPE supplies for medical workers on the frontline of this pandemic, was born.
Kadonsky, a 3D animator and web developer, was looking at her 3D printer and thought to herself, “I can definitely help in some way.” And so help, she did. When learning of the need of PPE supplies around the world, she knew she could lend a 3D-printed hand.
Using designs approved by medical experts, she came up with a design not only for a medical-grade face mask, but for entire facial shields that work with the N95 filters or any other surgical mask filter. These specific shields will help extend the lives of surgical and N95 masks from one use, to up to six uses per mask. Which is a huge help with the supply shortage being so high.
Andrew Riojas, of Milestones, partnered with Kadonsky to help create the facial shields by bringing in the plastic used to create them and together, they have been able to produce these life-saving pieces of equipment.
Kadonsky said she started working off of “The Montana Masks” (makethemasks.com) design after teaming up with the project. This means, the design she is working off of creates masks that are clinically and fit-test-approved. “These 3D masks are reusable and have a slot to insert new fillers, allowing one N95 mask to last up to four uses instead of one or one surgical mask to last up to 6 uses,” Kadonsky said. “Face shields, ventilator parts, and many other types of medical equipment can be 3D printed as well.”
Since posting her project on social media platforms, she’s received orders from all over the country, donations, supplies, and even more 3D printers to help raise the quantity Kadonsky is able to produce.
When she started, she had one 3D printer in her home, and since, has grown to 10 printers and receives hundreds of mask requests every day. Every single mask produced is donated at no-cost to medical professionals who need the most protection from COVID-19.
“I am aiming to gain quality printers to guarantee these masks are suitable for our medical personnel working with COVID-19 patients, to produce them faster, and with the least amount of bad prints,” Kadonsky said. “The printers we need start at $800. On average, these printers can produce up to 4 masks per day. The more printers, the faster we meet the needs of our medical personnel.”
When broken down, just $2 cover the costs of a complete mask for first responders. You can donate to Kadonsky’s cause via this link.