Creators of a local nonprofit, Miami Strong Masks, Marc and Lance Levine print and assemble masks during the week in their Brickell apartment and then distribute them with Mitchell Levine to nearby homeless communities on the weekends.
“The printers are always running in our apartment. There’s never a time when they’re not printing,” Marc Levine said.
Materials for the masks are simple: 3D printed plastic, vacuum filters to block out pathogens while allowing the user to breathe freely, a rubber lining to keep the masks airtight and an elastic strap (which) that rests on the back of the head rather than the ears for increased comfort.
“We want these to be comfortable because the more comfortable they are, the more these people will wear them and the more frequently they’ll be protected,” Mitchell Levine said.
Marc and Lance Levine, sometimes with help from Lance’s girlfriend Yuval Manor, put the masks together in an assembly line on their kitchen table. For the finishing touches, Lance Levine uses skills he learned in medical school tying surgical knots to help keep parts of the masks together.
During their most recent distribution on May 4, the brothers ran out of the 25 masks they brought within a few minutes.
Twenty-five masks may not seem like a lot, but Marc Levine explained that it takes about seven hours to print each mask, and with two printers, they can only print about six per day. Because of this short supply, the brothers often find themselves unable to give masks to everyone who wants one. This is soon to improve though, as the team has ordered a new 3D printer, which will bring their printing capacity to more than 50 masks per week by mid-May.
Click here to read the full story on how Miami Strong Masks came to be.