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James Beard with his 3D printer which he uses to create his face masks. The 12-year-old is already receiving orders for his masks. Image: contributed

James creates 3D masks

Twelve-year-old James Beard of Grafton is making a name for himself by creating and producing reusable face masks.

Mum Tina said that James loves technology and was obsessive about buying a 3D printer.

“We thought that it was a bit much for a kid to have a $300 printer,” Tina said.

“But then we thought if he’s going to create things, it’s going to keep him off the PlayStation and Xbox and keep his mind busy creating and producing things,” she said.  

 “There is a program on the computer, which you use to design your creation and then you have to download it onto an SD card and slot it into the 3D printer.

“James has only had his printer for a couple of months, and he’s created a few different things, including his own face masks.

“He uses a (plastic) material called PLA to create the masks, which are washable and reusable.

“When it’s printed, it’s printed flat and then you have to mould the mask with heat.

“He also makes the filters himself, which go into the masks.

“Last week James and his 3D masks featured on Prime news and after the program aired, he received orders for eight masks,” Tina said.

James said that he wanted to encourage others to have a go at making them. 

“If everyone had a 3D printer, we could all make masks for those who need them,” James said.

“It’s a slow process but already I’m starting to make some for people, and it makes me feel good that I can,” he said.