Grad's Company Helps with Mask Shortage

Williams wearing one of the masks.

Northern Michigan University alumnus Brandon Williams is answering the call to action during the COVID-19 pandemic. He's having his Traverse City-based company manufacture 3D-printed antimicrobial face masks, charging only for material costs, for distribution to customers. 

Williams' said he felt his company, DreamLab Industries, could embark on this project to help contribute personal protective equipment (PPE) that is in demand, but not readily available everywhere, during the pandemic.

“After we heard about the shortage of masks, we conducted research and figured out that we could make some,” said Williams.

The masks are made out of PLACTIVE™, an FDA Registered Material that is also EU Compliant. It contains thermoforming characteristics that facilitate post-processing and final adjustments of the 3D printed application, and is biodegradable. 

In the beginning, DreamLab was only able to produce 20 masks per day, but that number has since skyrocketed into the hundreds with a goal to make thousands per day and distribute them to the public. In order to maintain a safe work environment, employees must follow a very strict protocol.

“We require our employees to wash their hands before touching anything,” said Williams. “If they have to cough or sneeze, they can go outside, but we are seriously trying to keep everything as sterile as possible and keep everyone safe during this pandemic.”

In addition to the masks, the company is working to manufacture face mask shields, as well as door openers with touch capacitive capabilities.

Williams graduated from NMU in 2006 with bachelor's degrees in mechanical engineering and entrepreneurship. He said it would be very difficult and confusing to do what he's doing now without the education he received from NMU. 

“What I learned from NMU was how to share ideas, work together as a team and make everyone prosper,” said Williams. 

For more information on the 3D-printed antimicrobial face mask from DreamLab Industries, follow this link

Prepared By

Charlie Edwards
Student Writer

Categories: Alumni, Around NMU