Flint Doctor and Son Making 3D Masks for Health Care Workers
Flint doctor Bobby Mukkamala had no idea when he purchased almost twenty 3D printers that they would be put to use in keeping people healthy and safe. The local physician and community advocate originally bought the printers to donate to local schools, but with the school closures they are now being put to a much more important use....making face masks.
With the help of his son Nikhil, a college student at the University of Michigan, Mukkamala has turned his home into a production hub kicking out the much needed face masks for hospital workers.
So far the father/son team has produced about 200 masks and delivered them to Hurley hospital as well as shipping some to fellow colleagues in crucial areas across the county. 'We've given some to Hurley for their bioengineering folks to decide of they are good enough to deploy", said Mukkamala. "We have also given them to the nursing staff from all three major hospitals in the area on an individual level."
Mukkamala, who is a otolaryngologist, along with his son, are creating their masks based on a model called “The Montana Mask", a design from the University of Montana that has been highly rated for providing reliable protection and efficiency. Each mask takes about three hours to create and costs less than a dollar to make.
Dr. Mukkamala is also trying to aid in production by sending his 3D printers to others to use. "I sent some printers to some Kettering students and other 'makers' in town. I still have 4 and the other 16 that i bought are 'deployed'. I shipped them do physician colleagues in California, Washington, Texas and Illinois so far", he said.
As for advice on how to handle staying healthy and making it through all of this, Mukkamala says, "I guess I would say that people are slowly acknowledging that they should take precautions. The sooner more people acknowledge this the faster we will get through it.We all want life to get back to normal as soon as possible but it will take prudence to get there faster."