Cory Torpa

Schools may be closed due to COVID-19, but Kalama vocational teacher Cory Torppa has stayed busy teaching by example: He’s been 3D printing face shields for PeaceHealth St. John Medical Center.

“There’s a lot of learning I can pass on to the kids,” Torppa said. “My first print took 4 or 5 hours, and now I’ve got it down to 45 minutes. We’ll talk about parameters of design, ... and it doesn’t get more real than this.”

He originally brought a 3D printer home from school to fix it, he said, but then the COVID-19 pandemic exploded and schools closed. He had been seeing people with 3D printers in other countries manufacturing shields to donate, but hadn’t thought too much about it until the disease reached Cowlitz County.

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