Montana doctor inspires GR man to create 3D-printed masks

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Following a national shortage of masks used to protect people from the spread of COVID-19, a Grand Rapids man said a doctor at Metro Health Hospital recommended he take on the problem. 

So, he is working on a solution from his family room.

“Hey, why not?” said Chris Meyers. “If I can help, I can help.”

Meyers used a 3D printer to create face masks for friends, family and hopefully, medical professionals.

“I’ve got three done so far; this is the fourth,” Meyers said.

Meyers said he can’t take full credit for his 11-hour production. His friend connected him with a doctor in Montana, who posted instructions to make the masks online.

“Hopefully, we can help people wherever they are,” said Dr. Dusty Richardson, a neurosurgeon at Billings Clinic in Montana. 

In a FaceTime interview, Dr. Richardson said he helped develop and design these 3D masks.

“I did not anticipate the nationwide and really worldwide response that we have received from this design,” said Dr. Richardson.

Although Dr. Richardson provides viewers with a DIY handbook of sorts, he doesn’t fund each project or any materials. That’s left up to creatives, like Meyers, who’s also choosing to donate the masks.

“They’re totally free,” Meyers said. “I’m not charging anything for them.”

Be that as it may, Meyers’ masks must be formally vetted before going into hospitals, like Metro Health.

A spokesperson for the hospital says in part, “While we appreciate all donations, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)  guides our personal protective equipment choices. At this time, our staff are being supplied with medical-grade masks approved by the CDC, NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) and OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration).”

“We all have to come together,” Meyers said. “We’re all in this together.”