HCC uses 3-D printers to make masks and tension relief bands for UMMC staff

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – At the request of the University of Mississippi Medical Center, instructors on the Raymond campus of HCC are switching roles from educators to medical suppliers.

“We’re doing some masks,” instructor Phil Cockrell said. “But we’re also doing the tension band release bands that are used for surgical masks,” he continued. “Which reduces irritation to the ear and adjust the mask from the back.”

Using half a dozen 3-D printers Hinds Community College can make six of these bands and masks in 2.5 hours supplying UMMC 250 pairs of equipment.

“It’s starts off with a 3-D model of something solid,” instructor David Hollis said. “Like these headbands we then put it in a program called a deviser. It takes snap shots at different heights, and that program writes a code to tell the printer how to move it’s print head.”

Copying the code, the printer head then moves across the board laying down 1.5mm of plastic layers until each band or mask is complete.

“Right now plastic is very cheap, for a kg role of filaments it’s $20,” Hollis told us. “I think pieces of these headbands are $3.50 so divide that by six you get the cost of these headbands.”

Using air filters to shield up the front of the mask the 3-D printed versions resemble closely to n95 face masks. HCC has hundreds more stockpiled up for any other hospital short on supplies.

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