Coney Island teen creates global 3D printing group that makes PPE for health care workers

A Brooklyn teen is helping to ensure that thousands of medical professionals caring for COVID-19 patients all around the world are kept safe.
Coney Island-native Karina Popovich has three 3D printers, and says she couldn't just sit back and do nothing in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I wanted to create a group where makers or local hobbies or 3D printer owners could gather together and find hospitals in need get the most up-to-date and approved files,” says Popovich.
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The 19-year-old created “Makers for COVID-19,” a coalition of more than 200 hobbyists and 3D printer owners around the world to provide personal protective equipment to medical professionals on the front lines.

“We are all banding together to help the medical workers do their job, and really we are just trying to help keep them safe so that they can keep us safe,” says Popovich.
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Using the communications platform Slack, the group shares resources to ensure they're making PPE that meets high medical standards and also the most up-to-date information on hospital needs so they can prioritize where to send the final products.
They deliver more than 20,000 PPE units to hospitals around the world each week.
Popovich says seeing health care workers so excited to receive the face shields she has made makes all the hard work worth it.
“I saw this video and this picture and my heart just exploded and I want to do so much more of 3D printing, and also really getting myself even more invested into makers for COVID-19 to help these hospitals in need and really help these nurses fight the pandemic,” says Popovich.

Popovich says they've just launched their website for more people to learn about their cause and get involved.
The group has also created a GoFundMe page to reimburse members of the coalition who are spending hundreds of dollars of their own money to make the equipment.
Popovich hopes more people contribute so they can continue to support those on the front lines saving lives.