Sacramento man 3D prints protective gear, donates to hospitals

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) – A Sacramento man is using his 3D printer to build protective gear for health care workers treating COVID-19 patients.

Sam King told FOX40 he’s turning his anxiety about the coronavirus into action.

King is a project manager at a tech firm but 3D printing at home is his hobby.

“I’m making things more useful than a 3D-printed ocarina now,” said King.

King is printing out personal protective equipment, or PPE, for medical workers in the form of protective face shields. It’s another barrier between the coronavirus and a human face.

“One of the things about a face shield that I learned is that even wearing one with other PPE under it, a mask, goggles, it will extend the life of those,” explained King.

When King is not making the shields, he’s busy shipping them to where they are needed.

“I’ve sent filament and supplies as far out as Tennessee, Illinois. I sent a U.S. Army medic a couple of prototypes out in New York,” said King.

And he’s hand-delivering some to medical workers in the Sacramento area.

“We need to take care of them because they are going to be taking care of us,” said King. “Every time I show up at an ER they are overjoyed."

UC Davis Medical Center and Kaiser Permanente confirm face shields are among the donated items they are welcoming.

“I leave it to the health care professionals to decide how they want to utilize them. But giving them more options and just letting them know that they’re supported is very important right now,” said King.

King is making 20 shields per day. As of Tuesday, he ordered two more printers.

“People are desperate out there to get this stuff in front of them and we don’t make things as much in America as we used to. But now this distributed distribution is kind of a new model that might be the future,” said King.

On a GoFundMe page King has set up you can donate and find a link to the design instructions if you have a 3D printer and want to make some shields.

Learn more about the need for medical personal protective equipment by clicking or tapping here.

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