Shweta Thapa, a co-founder of digital fabrication specialist 3DucatorsUSA, and educator at Maker Depot Academy, is printing medical masks and other medical supplies and donating them to doctors who are battling the coronavirus.
As an expert in 3-D printing, she is seeking volunteers who are knowledgeable about the practice, as well as 3-D printers.
“We are trying to help the local hospitals as much as possible,” Thapa said. “We are making biodegradable printed masks that go on your face. You can protect yourself because they have the ability to block dust particles and they have been tested.”
“Our group the Women in 3-D Printing Foundation started collaborating with hospitals in California,” Thapa said. “We got the shout-out that we can do it because these materials are safe to use. After I got the green signal from there, I started doing it here.”
She has interns from Montclair State University and New York University.
Maker Depot Academy is a 501c3 nonprofit company that Frank Cornacchiulo and Michael Franchino founded and operate that promotes STEM education and teaching. Maker Depot Academy helps train teachers and students on equipment in their classrooms.
“We figured it is a community service,” Cornachiulo told NJBIZ on Thursday. “I have seen there is going to be shortages of masks. If we could 3-D-print a mask that you can replace the filters instead of having to replace the whole mask, then all you have to do is alcohol-swab it down once you put a new filter in it. In other words, you do not have to throw away the masks.”
In 2015, Cornacchiulo and Franchino founded Maker Depot, a company that sells memberships to people who want to learn manufacturing, technical and industrial skills.
Members can use the company’s MakerSpace facility in Totowa. The facility features wood-working shops, metal shops, 3-D printing, electronics, fabrication and computer numerical control machines. The company also sells and leases equipment and 3-D printers to high schools and the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City.
Volunteers who are knowledgeable about three dimensional printing may call Shweta Thapa at (732) 258-5385.