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Maker Mask, Pi-top to Share Lessons on 3D Printing Respirator Masks

Maker Mask Teams with pi-top to Share Lessons on 3D Printing Respirator Masks

A nonprofit maker organization is working with a company that creates computer kits, to encourage people to make respirators for their communities. Maker Mask has come up with lessons on how to make what it calls National Institutes of Health (NIH)-approved, open-source 3D printable masks. And pi-top has begun rolling out videos and lesson plans that show how to do it.

Printing one of the masks takes about four hours, according to Maker Mask, and offers the equivalent lifetime use of 300 N95 masks.

Maker Mask, funded by the RPrime Foundation, was recently launched to provide guidance to people who want to do something useful during the COVID-19 pandemic: 3D print respirator-quality masks. pi-top sells kits with parts to enable students to build a programmable computing device. Educators can use the kits to teach STEAM skills. It launched in 2014 when its two founders created the first 3D-printed laptop computer.

"The Maker Mask Initiative is a grassroots response to the COVID-19 crisis and it's an all hands-on-deck effort that can also empower motivated kids to be part of the solution," said Jonathan Roberts, leader of the Maker Mask Initiative and co-founder of RPrime, in a statement. "It's wonderful that pi-top is taking this opportunity to teach kids valuable skills and allowing them to make a real contribution to supporting the front-line workers, who are the true heroes of this COVID-19 crisis."

Instructional videos will be published on the pi-top website. Maker Mask itself also offers videos explaining how to create the masks, including details on the various elements of the mask, on its site.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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