3D-printing Lakefield retiree creates protective medical gear

LAKEFIELD—A 93-year-old Lakefield man is producing face shield bands using his 3-D printers.

To help protect front line workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, Jack Millage started manufacturing the bands about three weeks ago.

“I have three machines and I can produce three in about 3 1/2 hours. So it takes a little over an hour to produce a band,” Millage said.

Since he started manufacturing them, Millage has made nearly 100 bands.

Each band is being assembled to a face shield by Millage’s daughter Vedra and her husband.

Millage said he started 3-D printing about five years ago with various machines.

“Since then, I’ve gone through probably 10 different machines, either building them from parts, or just simply putting them together with a couple of pieces,” he said.

“I’ve always had hobbies. I had my own airplane and flew it, I was into photography for a good many years and won some prizes for my pictures, and all the time, I was working as a plumber. That was my main job.”

Millage thinks his love of 3-D printing has been influenced by his other hobbies and his career.

“I like something that’s a challenge. You know, to keep your mind busy and what not,” he said.

The bands have been taken to various locations including Hospice Peterborough, Extendicare Lakefield and several clinics.

“I’m now getting an order ready to go to a seniors home,” Millage said.

Chris Hagg, Millage’s longtime friend, said he’s always been an amazing character.

“I’ve known Jack since I was 14 and I’m 66 now. I think it’s an absolute wonderful thing he’s doing. He’s a very generous man,” Hagg said.

“He is not just another person doing his part by self-isolating and social distancing, he is contributing to help the front line health care workers.”

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Millage hopes the bands will give front line workers some protection against the virus.

“I hope it gives them some sort of minimum protection. It certainly has no medical value. I just hope if people are in close contact, it will help stop the germ from spreading itself,” he said.

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However, Millage said face masks aren’t a magical cure against COVID-19.

“If people don’t stay away from each other and keep passing things back and forward, well we’ll still have some troubles. I’m just trying to do my little bit to help those that have to be on the front line,” he said.

For those who would like to donate face shields for Millage to assemble to his band’s, they can contact him via email at frinja0@bell.net.

Funded by the Government of Canada/Financé par le Gouvernement du Canada.