Connecticut doctor uses his 3D printer to make clinical masks

A Connecticut doctor is using his knack for engineering to protect his fellow workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

News 12 Staff

Mar 27, 2020, 11:50 PM

Updated 1,477 days ago

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A Connecticut doctor is using his knack for engineering to protect his fellow workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Two years ago, Dr. Chris Wiles bought a 3D printer to make parts for his car. Now, he's using it to make clinical masks.
"I was looking online for other mask designs that somebody made and I couldn't find something that I thought offered the right amount of breath ability," Wiles says "The all had small filters and I wanted a large filter."
The New London native says he saw many hospitals running out of equipment. He developed his own technique to make alternative masks using materials from hardware stores and other sources. He says a 3D printer can print around three masks per day. According to the doctor, Hartford Hospital and St. Vincent's are buying printers so he can make masks.
"I just felt if we're going to be allowed to use face masks when we run out of N95s and even maybe surgical masks, I'd like to have something better to offer," Wiles says.
He says he wants to donate them to whoever needs them the most while also stockpiling some for the state.
Dr. Wiles says tests on the new masks begin next week. He is enlisting help from community colleges, high schools, and companies from Canada and Europe to held manufacture masks using 3D printers.
 
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The doctor also says he's working with high schools, 3D printing consortiums, engineering friends and a kayak-manufacturing company so they can pitch in on the effort.
Dr. Wiles says tests on the new masks begin next week.
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