Many companies in the firearms industry are stepping up and retooling their factories to produce everything from face shields to masks for frontline healthcare workers, but KelTec engineer Toby Obermeit is putting his skills to work with the Medical University of South Carolina to redesign face masks and improve on the filters that keep the coronavirus away from the lungs of doctors and nurses caring for those infected.
According to a release from the firearms manufacturer, Obermeit has found a way to not only expand the types of filtration cartridges that can be used by the S.A.F.E. masks, but has managed to make them even safer.
“After Toby studied the original S.A.F.E. filter cartridge design, he then optimized it by making it faster and easier to print” said Marketing Manager, Matt Stanek. “He submitted this improved design to MUSC, and officials at the University were so impressed that they asked for help with the next generation mask design”.
The original design required cutting and gluing a HEPA filter, however the new designs utilize various Roomba® Filters, making them much easier to assemble.
“We’ve accomplished a lot.” said Obermeit. “We’ve made improvements to the mask itself, as well as created multiple cartridges which take different types of filters. There is even a mask design that has an integrated filter cartridge.”
While Obermeit is helping with the design of the masks and filters, Keltec is repurposing its 3D printers to actually manufacture the N99 masks for healthcare workers.
“Caring about each other, our families and neighbors is in our DNA,” concluded Sales Director, Derek Kellgren. “These are difficult times and we have friends, family members, neighbors and customers on the front lines. We’re just glad we can be of some help, given how much they’re helping us and our communities.”
Not only has the company started making masks of their own, they’re also sharing the files so that others can use the same design and print masks with their own 3D printers.
It’s great to see so many companies stepping up and doing what they can to keep Americans safe, whether from violent intruders to the invisible killer that is the COVID-19 virus. We’re going to continue to highlight these companies in the days and weeks ahead, but if you know of someone or some company in the firearms industry that’s going above and beyond to aid in the efforts to protect folks from the coronavirus, please let me know, either on Twitter, where you can find me @camedwards, or via email at [email protected]