Finished products of face masks and face shields that were manufactured through Liyo Kikon’s personal 3-D printer Credit: EastMojo image

Guwahati: With a continuous rise of COVID-19 cases, healthcare systems across the world are facing a huge demand for medical supplies, especially N-95 masks and face shields.

In a bid to address this gap, Liyo Kikon, a resident of Kohima in Nagaland, has come out with an effective and fast solution. With his personal 3-D printer, Kikon has made masks and shields easily available for anyone to use.

“My cousin, who is a doctor, came to me with the problem of low availability of masks,” said Kikon, when asked about the inception of the idea. A software developer, Kikon wasted no time in designing the templates for face masks and shields.

However, in a situation where time is of essence, a single home-assembled 3-D printer makes the production production very slow. Unfazed by the barrier, Kikon came up with another solution. “I shared the codes with others so that they can download, print and give them to our healthcare workers,” he said.

Liyo Kikon has also shared the 3-D printing STL file for free so that anyone with access to 3-D printers can manufacture them

Kikon is also sharing out the 3D printing STL (stereolithography) file for free to anybody who has access to 3D printers, so that they can download it and start printing. Many science colleges and universities have easy access to such high-end printers and Kikon himself is trying to find out a few of them.

However, this is not the first time that 3-D printing technologies are being applied in the medical world during the coronavirus pandemic. A team at Northwell Health in New Hyde Park, New York is already using 3-D printed nasal swabs.

The world is already trying to find out different ways to combat crisis during the pandemic and Kikon’s addition is a much-needed boost in the war against coronavirus.

Sharing a video of Liyo Kikon’s works on Twitter on March 31, Nagaland MLA & advisor, IT, Science and Technology, NRE, Mmhonlumo Kikon said: “3D printed FACE MASK & SHIELD developed in Kohima 4 healthcare workers.

Startups, schools & colleges who has a 3D printer can download the 3D print file developed by Liyo Kikon for free and use it to print!”

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