LINDSBORG — Bethany College’s Art and Digital Media Department has found a way to offer help during the COVID-19 pandemic by making masks with its 3D printer.
The team of Marlin Richardson and Spencer and Colton Zaugg, all of Billings, Mont., created the template and design for the masks and shared open source files with Bethany. The college is calling the masks “Montana Masks.”
“I wanted to showcase versatility as a small college with a unique program,” said Bethany College academic dean and director of art and digital media Ed Pogue in a school release. “We have an advantage in the ability to adapt faster to problems than most. A need presented itself, a supply shortage of COVID-19 applicable masks for our maintenance workers, especially those who clean in the residence halls.”
Pogue adapted the mask’s design by using materials that are easily accessible at this time. He made a seal at the top of the mask by using rubber window stripping and a filter, such as a white coffee filter or vacuum cleaner allergenic filters. Pogue added that one surgical mask can be equivalent to four to six masks, while the plastic can be sanitized for reuse.
“A creative solution and opportunity also presented itself through some research by myself and one of our digital arts instructors, Sarah Mathia,” Pogue said. “I first 3D printed the masks here at Bethany from open-source files, then adapted them to work with other types of more accessible household products.“