(Reno, NEV.) – GriffonCo, a Reno-based 3D printing company, is halting production on its usual orders to manufacture and distribute more than 500 face masks to area hospitals treating COVID-19 patients.
Katie and Andy Muth own and operate GriffonCo out of their home. Andy is a web developer at KPS3 marketing, and Katie homeschools their children while managing GriffonCo full time. Usually, the company produces miniatures and figurines for the popular tabletop game, Dungeons and Dragons. But in these uncertain times, the Muth family is equipping area hospitals with a different kind of armor.
Using its army of 19 3D printers, the company is able to print 100 visor pieces for faces masks per day. Once the visor is cut, Katie and Andy use laser cutters to modify the plastic shield, producing one entire face mask in just over an hour. Currently, GriffonCo is producing the mask provided by 3DVerskstan, a Swedish 3D printing company.
“We’ve been watching the news and seeing online that people are using their 3D printers to help local healthcare workers, so we decided to reach out and see if we could help here locally,” said Katie Muth, co-owner of GriffonCo. “After producing a few prototypes, we delivered samples to hospital administration. Once we knew they not only would accept them, but they were very much in need of them, we got right down to business.”
GriffonCo has halted production of its regular products to focus 75 percent of production efforts on creating the face shields. So far, the Muth family has delivered 200 face shields to the VA Hospital in Reno and 200 to Northern Nevada Medical Center, as well as small numbers of shields to various medical practices in Reno and Sparks. They will continue to distribute the face shields in the weeks to come.
The Muth family has also received support from other maker groups in the region. The UNR Innevation Center, The Discovery Museum, Reno Collective, UNR College of Engineering, UNR De La Mare Library makerspace, Reno Type, the Washoe County Library, and various other community members who are printing at home are among the organizations that assisted GriffonCo in the production of face shields.
“Once we realized we were unable to keep up the demand, we reached out to other local makers,” Muth said. “Now we have approximately 20 different groups of people printing visors for us to donate to the hospitals. We are currently receiving requests from various practices all over town, and we’re hoping to expand production to provide as many face shields as we can.”
Anyone who would like to assist GriffonCo with the production of face shields can email email@example.com. GriffonCo is also accepting donations, all of which will be used to cover material costs.
GriffonCo is a home-ran business located in Northern Nevada. Although small, we are capable and able to provide excellent customer service for all of your tabletop gaming needs focusing on Dungeon & Dragons and other miniature tabletop games. What started with a hobby has become a full-time business for our family to run and operate together. Visit GriffonCo.com to learn more and see our wares.