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Tampa company begins making respirators to help with Florida shortage

Posted at 7:21 AM, Apr 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-15 11:00:36-04

A Tampa company is helping to fight COVID-19 by beginning to manufacture respirator-type masks.

RELATED: Clearwater medical company donating CPAP machines to be turned into ventilators to New York

SynDaver made its first prototype with a 3D printer last week, then offered a free template online.

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The template lets anyone with a 3D printer make a safety respirator with commercially available filter materials.

The company says it then began to investigate how to expedite production, and thousands of masks were ordered by local law enforcement and emergency services in Florida.

“We’re currently prioritizing orders for law enforcement, first responders, healthcare institutions and companies that have essential personnel interacting daily with the public, like grocery stores and gas stations,” said Dr. Christopher Sakezles, CEO of SynDaver. “We will be focusing purely on America first, when it comes to distribution. It’s also important to note that every aspect of our respirator has been sourced and manufactured in the USA. All components, down to the raw materials, are from the USA and the respirator itself will be assembled here in Tampa.”

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While the SynDaver respirator and the filter it comes with have not been tested or certified, the company says they employ MERV 13 filtration media that has been shown to filter out virus-carrying particles, and the mask is also compatible with filter cartridges produced by other manufacturers.

The company plans to produce one million masks.

The CEO also says they designed a ventilator several years ago and are looking into producing those too.

The first version of the mask costs $35 per unit and bulk pricing is available.

For more information or to order, click here.

Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering