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Palm Desert Orthodontist uses 3D printer to make face masks for healthcare workers


The reusable face masks are being made by Palm Desert Orthodontist Doctor Morgan Moranda using the 3D Printer in his office which he usually uses to make dental models for retainers and aligners. 

“This could be life or death, it really could be.  I think it could save lives.  It will help our healthcare workers immensely,” said Moranda.    

As the coronavirus pandemic gained steam, Moranda wondered how he might use his printer to make needed ventilator parts and came across the website, where he downloaded the free design file for the mask called the “Montana Mask”, which was developed by Neurosurgeon Dr. Dusty Richardson, Dr. Spencer Zaugg and Colton Zaugg.

“The people that are coming in, the doctors trying these out, kind of fit test them, they’re giving feedback, they’re super thankful,” said the orthodontist.  

The material used is a biocompatible resin and the design features a window-like phalange which holds in place the replaceable filter.

The filter pieces come from a regular face mask cut into 6 pieces, which extends the usefulness of a single standard mask.

The orthodontist says the materials to make a single mask cost about $25 and estimates the time to make one at roughly 6 hours, with most of that “printing time”.

Dr. Moranda says so far he has given away about 15 of the masks, mostly to valley area healthcare professionals who he says are extremely grateful. 

Moranda and the design team in Montana point out that the mask has not yet been tested or approved by any state or federal agency.

But Moranda says preliminary tests conducted in Billings are showing positive results.

For now, while the doctor’s patients and most of his staff stay home, he’ll continue to make masks as long as they’re needed.

He also encourages others to join the effort. 

“We have to do this I think.  Get out there on your 3D printers, get access to one, and start printing them,” said Moranda.

Contact Dr. Morgan Moranda:


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Tom Tucker

Tom Tucker is a veteran broadcast journalist with nearly 20 years of experience. Learn more about Tom here.


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