The assistant principal at Saratoga Central Catholic School, who just happens to have been the tech teacher for the past 40 years, is using the school’s 3D printer to create personal protective equipment for health-care workers in his county.

Dennis Ostrowski brought the printer home March 13 to print out his students’ projects they had programmed in his class at school. He says he got the idea to create protective face shields after watching a news story on TV showcasing a Capital Region school using a printer to do exactly that.
From his living room, Ostrowski prints face shields using a model off the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website, which he will donate to the Saratoga Health Department for distribution to area health-care workers.

By using old projector slides that have become practically obsolete with the invention of smart boards, elastic from hair bands he bought at his local dollar store, and spools of film that would otherwise be used by students in his classes, he produces about two masks per day. So far, he’s printed and donated about 36 protective shields.

“It takes about 31/2 hours to print the plastic part of it, and I only do about two papers because I don’t want to tax the machine,” Ostrowski said. “This is not an industrial machine; this is a school machine so I try not to push it.”

With enough supplies to last him at least another month, Ostrowski says he will continue to “keep chugging on until they tell us stop.”

Ostrowski says this kind of work reflects what Saratoga Central Catholic School has always done in terms of giving to the community.

“If there’s a need, someone in the community will step up to fill that need, whether it’s just one person or the whole community, we all contribute. We try to get that into the kids too.” Ostrowski said.