Enabling schools to fight COVID-19 with 3D printable respirator masks

Lesson plans that teach users how to make a 3D printable NIH-approved respirator mask, using readily available materials found at local hardware stores

pi-top, creators of computing devices that combine digital making, coding, and practical projects, today announced their partnership with Maker Mask. The collaboration comes as a result of both companies’ goal to give teachers, students and makers everywhere the ability to make a positive impact on their communities by 3D printing respirators for those in need.

Schools around the world use pi-top to teach core STEAM skills in coding, robotics and AI. Teaming with Maker Mask, pi-top has released a video content series that teaches 3D printing. Detailed lesson plans on the fundamentals of 3D printing and how to 3D print the Maker Mask can be found on Further, pi-top’s online learning space.

As a response to the desperate need for locally sourced personal protective equipment (PPE), the Maker Mask team has created the first National Institutes of Health (NIH)-approved, open-source 3D printable mask which is available for free download at makermask.com. More than 10,000 makers around the world are using their 3D printers and the Maker Mask design to make protective respirator-style masks at small batch production sites in 145 countries. Printing one of the Maker Mask masks takes about four hours and has the equivalent lifetime use of 300 N95 masks.

“We’re proud to partner with pi-top to teach kids valuable hands-on 3D printing skills so they can make Maker Masks. The Maker Mask Initiative is a grassroots response to the COVID-19 crisis and it’s an all hands-on-deck effort that can also empower motivated kids to be part of the solution,” said Jonathan Roberts, leader of the Maker Mask Initiative, co-founder of RPrime, and founding partner of Ignition Partners. “It’s wonderful that pi-top is taking this opportunity to teach kids valuable skills and allowing them to make a real contribution to supporting the front line workers, who are the true heroes of this COVID-19 crisis.”

With the Maker Mask project, pi-top are adding to a previous world-first in the realm of 3D printing. Founders Jesse Lozano and Ryan Dunwoody created the first 3D printable laptop in 2014, as recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records in 2017.

Jesse Lozano, pi-top’s co-founder and CEO, said, “We have always been on the forefront of 3D printing and when the opportunity to join together with Maker Mask was presented we, of course, jumped in with both feet. For six years we have championed the ability of makers everywhere to positively affect education and the world around them. By completing this Maker Mask learning pathway, teachers, students and makers everywhere can help save lives in the face of this unprecedented global threat.”

The first video will be available beginning today on Maker Mask’s website. For more information on the partnership, and instructions on how to be part of this innovative solution visit pi-top.com/MakerMask

About pi-top

pi-top began in 2014 with the world’s first 3D printed Raspberry Pi laptop aimed at enabling people all over the world to make their own technology, rather than simply consuming it. Our mission is to inspire the makers of tomorrow to solve the global challenges of today, so that they can use technology to have a positive impact on the world. We do this by fusing STEAM, entrepreneurship and social values to unlock the innovation mindset that we believe resides in everyone. With our ever-expanding universe of products, we deliver unparalleled learning by making experiences that are fun, engaging and produce high-impact results.

About Maker Mask

Maker Mask is a rapidly-growing grassroots ecosystem and digital platform response to the COVID-19 crisis. The nonprofit organization is enabling communities to create necessary goods locally and quickly to reduce the spread of disease, protect more people, lighten the burdens on medical facilities, the Department of Defense, and government agencies. The Maker Mask initiative gives people around the world something they can do to be part of the solution to the COVID-19 pandemic while the organization works toward its long-term goal of building and training local production capability for the future. Maker Mask is an RPrime Initiative and currently funded by the RPrime Foundation.

The RPrime Foundation, co-founded by Jonathan Roberts, is a nonprofit digital platform connecting individuals to communities of all types including faith-based, education, government, NGO and all service organizations, to meet societal and community needs. Roberts is also a board member and investor in NavigatorCRE which is driving the powerful ViralInsights/NavigatorCRE data analysis and visualization platform that is an important part of the Maker Mask initiative.

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