Royal Oak man uses his 3-D printers to make medical masks for hospitals

With three, 3-D printers, Nicholas Busuito's living room has become a mini mask making factory. 

"My production value right now is 24 a day so roughly one an hour," he said. 

The mechanical engineer works at a local 3-D printing company, Geofabrica. But it is now deemed non-essential, forced to close up shop. Nicholas saw a need, and has the skills to help.  

"I borrowed my dad's pickup truck and loaded up the printers," he said.

He was able to find a design for reusable masks, not as good as N95s, but something medical health professionals could use as a backup.

"You can see the filter now blocks where that hole used to be then this guard literally snaps on and then you have a face mask," he said. 

The filter, is one-time use and the masks would need to be sanitized to use again.

Nicholas, an asthma sufferer, has the time right now to produce them - on lockdown in his Royal Oak home.  

"To be honest, it’s a little scary," he said.

His company is in talks with area hospitals to donate as many masks as he can crank out as thinks of his own family, many in the medical field in the midst of this crisis. 

"It really strikes home when you hear it from your family and people you interact with every day," Nicholas said.

Nicholas Busuito

Nicholas is also working on his own design of a balloon type ventilator - it's a more complicated design…he says if hospital vents were to run out, this could be used a secondary option to help COVID patients. 

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Symptoms for coronavirus COVID-19 include fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. 

To protect yourself, wash your hands well and often, keep them away from your face, and avoid crowds and standing close to people.

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And if you do find yourself showing any of these flu or coronavirus symptoms - don't go straight to your doctor's office. That just risks making more people sick, officials urge. Call ahead, and ask if you need to be seen and where.