A 13-year-old Virginia boy is using his parents’ 3D printer to create masks to donate, reports ABC television affiliate WJLA.
Charles Randolph, like most kids, is trying his best to stay active while being confined to the house as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Many young people are just trying to adjust with transitioning to online learning while also dealing with their new teachers a.k.a parents. Charles is no different, but with everything going on, the teen came across an opportunity to do more than play games and complete online class work while away from school.
The teen’s great uncle needs a heart transplant and with the coronavirus spreading, Charles began to think about the fact that his uncle might need a mask since he’s considered high risk.
Masks and other supplies like gloves are scarce during this time, many people are finding it difficult to locate one, especially one that has a complex filtration system to keep the virus out. So Charles decided to do something about it.
“My mom has me on a super strict schedule. It’s not the best thing in the world but, two hours of homework every day, don’t enjoy that often, but you know. I saw in the news that high-risk patients [are] people with existing diseases like heart problems and asthma , I thought this would help him,” he said.
This, meaning the masks Charles began creating with his parents’ 3D printer. He first learned about 3D technology when he was younger and up until this point, only used the device to make toys and other small items using a template he gathered off of a website.
“My dad and mom signed me up for enrichment classes when I was younger. You use a slicer which takes the product that you got off Thingiverse and it turns it into code that the 3D printer can read. This is the first real, useful thing that I’ve made. It may not be 100 percent of a filtration system but it works,” Charles said.
The entire process costs him about a dollar per mask and takes just 90 minutes to make. While the mask wouldn’t be useful for doctors or nurses with direct exposure daily, for the everyday person, it is extremely helpful.
Charles is donating the masks to anyone who may need them, being sure to send one to his uncle first. The teen says he feels good about his creation and hopes he can continue to be helpful and utilize his resources.
“I feel pretty good. I’m pretty quiet, chill. Yeah, I feel pretty good about this. I’m just waiting for another idea to pop up in my head,” Charles said.
Thank you Charles for everything you’re doing. We can’t wait to see what you create next.