DRAPER, Utah – After hitting record lows in sales, a Utah company has found success after finding their snorkels could be converted to N95 masks.
When outdoor adventure came to halt because of the coronavirus pandemic, outdoor retailer Wildhorn Outfitters in Draper got innovative.
“In order to preserve the business and provide a path forward, we looked at other ways we could help during the crisis,” said owner Mark Thomas.
After seeing a shortage of N95 masks, the company found their full face snorkel masks could be adapted as personal protective equipment to help those on the front lines of the virus, a move other countries were already making.
“We basically take the tube off. We print a plastic 3D adapter that slides over where the tube was, and then you can actually snap a filter on top. So now you have an airtight seal with a filtered breathing through the mask,” said Thomas.
Using their own 3D Printer and their technical expertise, the Utah small business has already donated 300 N95 masks to Mountain West Anesthesiologists here in the beehive state.
“We have two primary goals right now, the first is to help as many people as we can. The second is to build a future for our business and the jobs it employs in the community,” said Thomas.
The adapted masks have reached outside Utah’s borders.
“We recently partnered with a non-profit called MasksOn.org and they’ve produced 5,000 units from us they are donating to hospitals throughout the country,” said Thomas.
Within a matter of weeks the five-year business has been completely transformed, and the company is working with big names like NASA to design a non-evasive ventilator, as well.
“At the end of it all, I think we’ll be stronger. We’ll have a better business, a more diversified business,” said Thomas.
He told KSL the masks are reusable, and anyone who already has their full snorkel mask and a 3D printer can download their 3D printing files.