Kentucky kid using 3-D printer to help healthcare workers

MCCREARY COUNTY, Ky. (WVLT) Most kids have one thing they really want for Christmas, then a couple months later when the excitement wears off, it ends up in the back of a closet. A Kentucky 12-year-old desperately wanted a 3-D printer for last year, and got it. Months later, he's still using it, but not what he expected to use for. He's now using it to save people working on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.

"By request i print whatever people want," 12-year-old Lucas Strunk said. "Like i had a friend who requested a little Air Jordan."

When the coronavirus pandemic hit, he knew his printer could make a difference.

"I decided to use all my free time and print something helpful," Lucas said.

He's now printing headbands that can be turned into face shields for healthcare workers battling the coronavirus. His printer now runs 24/7 turning out the protection gear. Each one takes about three hours to print then he add the clear plastic face protector.

"It becomes and easy face shield to use," Lucas said "Its easy to put on, and fits well with a face mask."

Since he started making them last week, the Mccreay County Kentucky community has rallied behind him. They've donated enough money to buy two more printers and materials. When we defeat the coronavirus he plans to donate the new printers to his middle school.

"We’ve gotten so many generous donations, and the overwhelming positive support has been great," Lucas said. "It’s really motivated me to do my best here."

His mom Aimee says she couldn't be more proud of the impact her son is having. They've already donated several, and are working hard to finish more as quickly has they can. She said one nurses gratitude stuck with her.

"When she received the package she was completely overwhelmed," Aimee Strunk said "She felt for the first time like she was ready to ready to fight this disease. She felt protected and felt safe from the disease and hearing her say that was overwhelming."

Lucas hopes that all of his work will hopefully help to save lives.

"It feels nice knowing in these times of need, I’m doing my part and doing all that I can," Lucas said.

If you want to help Lucas, you can mail a donation to address below.

PO Box 1058
Stearns, Ky.