My name is Carlos Castro. I am a technology education teacher at Woodbridge Senior High School in Woodbridge, Virginia. We all have been impacted in some way by the Covid-19 pandemic. On March 13th, our happy daily routine ended abruptly with the closure of all Prince William County Schools. Since then, I’ve joined my colleagues online trying to keep our students engaged and moving forward. Somehow, that didn’t seem like I could be doing enough. The shortages of PPE and the stories of doctors, nurses, and first responders going without just left me, like most of you, dumbfounded. So, with a little effort, a little collaboration, a little research, I found a lightweight mask that can be 3D printed to distribute to all who could use them. No, they are not N95 compliant. It is very hard to recreate an N95 mask at home. These masks are made from various colors of 1.75mm PLA bio-degradable plastic. It's made from plant-based resources such as cornstarch or sugar cane. Go figure, it can biodegrade in the landfills next to all those nasty looking latex gloves you see in the parking lots now. The filter is a fibrous material that will block a good amount of the droplets that can be expelled. The cord is a simple elastic band, green in color because I can’t help myself. I am a company man.
The masks are printed in two stages: mask and filter frame. They take about 5.5 hours to make on a printer. Normally, that would be the kiss of death for a project like this, but we are Woodbridge. Woodbridge is great in that it’s resourceful, full of talented people, and has caring community to support it. With all that, WSHS has 10 3D printers available to print close to 200 masks a week, and more if we can get some support and more printers. If you have been wanting to do something to help out with the shortages of PPE, this could be one way. WSHS Robotics has started the ball rolling by buying the first 30 rolls of filament, filter material, and elastic cord. That will let us create 600 masks. Is that enough for a pandemic? I truly do not know. But what I do know is that all donations will be used exclusively for the purchase of materials, additional printers, cleaning supplies to prep the masks, and shipping if need be. I am humbled that you all would be willing to join me to do what we can to help in this time of need. Anything will help. I plan to keep an accounting sheet of all expenses so that you can see what your donation where your donation has helped. Thank you for your consideration and support.
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