Key Lends 3D Printers and a Few Helping Hands to Annapolis Montana Mask Movement

Key Lends 3D Printers and a Few Helping Hands to Annapolis Montana Mask Movement

Key’s Director of IT and Innovation Tom Adams has been spearheading Key’s participation in the Annapolis Montana Mask Movement, an effort to marshall area resources in support of building face mask frames and reusable respirators using 3D printers.  Dubbed the “Montana Mask,” these reusable filtration face masks were designed in Billings, Montana. The design, which is 3D printable, was made free for public use.

Initially approached by Steven Saint Amour of the Eclipse Group, Head of School Matthew Nespole encouraged the deployment of the School’s 3D printers in support of the work at hand.   The week of April 1, three Key School 3D printers were dispersed to members of the Key community who agreed to participate in the production using specified designs to create face mask bodies or shells, which are time consuming to print. One Key School family is using their own 3D printer. 

In addition to Mr. Adams, Middle Schoolers Ian Hedgecoth ‘26 and Petey Harris ‘24 jumped at the chance to help and several other families plan to join the effort shortly.

Reflecting on his participation, Petey Harris said, “I was interested in this project because I just like 3D printing and the freedom of being able to take an idea from your head, model it on the computer, and have it be a complete object in a matter of hours. I also wanted to help out the community, especially healthcare workers. My mom is a doctor with her own practice and she knows just what it is like to be on the front line and the importance of PPE. Something I learned is just how easy it is to make a difference, and how many people are creating little movements all across the country to help this effort, which I thought was really inspiring. Something that stands out to me might be how versatile 3D printing can be. It can be used from making small models of movie characters, to little gadgets that help around the house, to making actual protective equipment for healthcare workers and people who need it most, especially in times like these. I would say that it feels especially good to know that you're making a difference, even as small as printing a few dozen mask frames.”

"I am proud to be part of this large effort to help doctors and nurses stay safe from COVID-19," explained Ian Hedgecoth. "I’ve even got my whole family into helping get the printer to run as much of the day and night as possible. I learned that you can make a difference even from your home."

Individuals, families, students from many area schools including St. Marys, and larger organizations such as Anne Arundel Community College and the Anne Arundel County Public Libraries are making a significant impact.  As of this writing Key has supplied approximately 150 mask frames to the effort, and 1,027 reusable respirators and 57 face shields have been delivered to Anne Arundel Medical Center, local clinics, and several volunteer groups.

"Getting involved in this 3D printing effort is the most concrete contribution I've made to the national effort to combat COVID-19. Hearing that printer running day in and day out producing durable frames for reusable PPE masks is one step I can take from my own home to assist others," said Tom Adams. “The Key students who have gotten involved with this initiative have simply excelled at keeping the printers operating amidst all of their school work and disrupted home lives. I’m profoundly impressed with how they’ve recognized this need and prioritized contributing to meeting the need.”

In an email to Mr. Adams, Mr. Saint Amour said, “I would like to thank everyone at Key School for their support, I have been really struck by the fact that it has been the educators who have been rushing to the defense of our healers. The hospital continues to tell me how important this effort is for them.”

Anne Arundel Medical Center recently highlighted Mr. Saint Amour’s impressive work in an article in their newsletter. 

If you are interested in helping with this effort please contact Tom Adams.