Maranatha High School Helps American School in Japan Create 3D Printed Masks
Maranatha High School’s faculty member, Miguel Almena, continued to help with the fight against COVID-19 by assisting students in Japan who wanted to support medical workers by providing them with 3D printed masks. This request came about after Maranatha High School made the news in April for its efforts to help protect medical personnel by supplying nurses at Kaiser Hospital in Downey with masks printed by the school’s 3D printers.
The news story gained momentum and was picked up by local newspapers, was reported on the KTLA5 news, and even trended and reached readers outside the U.S. Mr. Almena, the TILE (Technology Integration Learning Environment) Lab Coordinator at Maranatha High School, shared, “I received an email from a student at the American School in Japan. The school wanted to do something similar to our project — printing 3D masks. I was more than happy to help and scheduled an hour meeting on Zoom with juniors, Aimee Dossor and Julia Neely, along with their teacher, Mrs. Margaret Kim, who is the Design Lab Technical Assistant at the American School. I explained the process of designing and printing a 3D mask, technical aspects to take into account, and the logistics of printing in detail. I also shared other ways in which they could support nurses or medical staff in Tokyo, such as making face shields out of clear transparency, or being a resource to other 3D print facilities wishing to print masks themselves.”
To originally create the 3D printed masks, Mr. Almena located information on a website that profiled the work of Dr. Dusty Richardson, a neurosurgeon at the Billings Clinic in Montana. Dr. Richardson was freely distributing a print file for a 3D mask he had helped create in order to support hospitals across the globe. “Dr. Richardson created a website called makethemasks.com. The site provides information about the 3D masks, the print files and instructions for printing, and other important information, including tips on how to sanitize the masks and instructions for medical workers. When people reach out to me, such as the American School in Japan, it is easy for me to refer them to Dr. Richardson’s website and to assist them through the process of developing a 3D printed mask,” Said Mr. Almena.
The experience of working with a school across the globe has been inspiring for Mr. Almena. “I want to continue to be a resource to anyone who’s interested in designing and printing 3D masks. Recently, I was able to help out the aunt of one of Maranatha’s sophomore students who works in the ER at Huntington Hospital in Pasadena. She was looking for someone to 3D print elastic supports for the masks. I was more than happy to help, so I printed 50 of the elastic supports and delivered them to her at the hospital.”
Hearing the positive feedback from those in the Maranatha community, reading published news stories about how the 3D printed masks are helping those in the medical field, and connecting with the school in Japan have all confirmed to Mr. Almena that he made the right decision in producing the 3D masks. He shared, “Doing this project has been awesome! It takes about three hours to print one mask, but it’s hard work that I know is making a difference in the lives of others.”
Maranatha High School, 169 S. St. John Avenue, Pasadena, (626) 817-4000 or visit www.maranatha-hs.org.