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March 31, 2020

Black Teen Uses 3D Printer to Make Face Masks, Plans to Donate to His Community

Charles Randolph, Black teen making face masks with 3-D printer

Charles Randolph, a 13-year old from Falls Church, Virginia, is creating face masks using his parents' 3D printer. He says he is planning to produce more masks to donate to his community in hopes to prevent further spread of the coronavirus.
Having been out of school due to the pandemic, Randolph keeps himself busy with reading books and watching the news to be kept updated with the current events.

As a product of his boredom, he came up with the idea of creating masks to provide protection for people, especially his ailing great uncle who has a heart condition, amid the coronavirus fears.

"I saw in the news that high-risk patients, people with existing diseases like heart problems and asthma, I thought this would help him," Randolph told WJLA.

Randolph is using his parents' 3D printer to make the masks. He learned about 3D technology since his parents enrolled him in enrichment classes when he was younger. He started making toys using the printer and now he is making masks.

"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," Randolph said.

Although Randolph's masks could not serve as the best protection for frontline health workers, nurses, and doctors, it is very useful for people who are immunocompromised like his great uncle.

"It may not be 100 percent of a filtration system, but it works," Randolph said.

Randolph plans to make more of the masks, which costs around $1 each, to donate to those who need it.