Two weeks ago, the All Saints Episcopal School in Tyler was churning out protective face masks for patients and health care workers.

Today, the 3D printer in their fabrication lab, called the Fab Lab, is making top-of-the-line N95 protective face shields. They are of such high quality, they have shipped to six cities in five states and are being used by several facilities in Tyler.

“We continue to make the masks. We’ve made over 1,000,” said All Saints Head of School Mike Cobb. “They’ve been very helpful for patients and health care workers and the face shields are helpful for infectious disease units.”

The unique 3D masks have interchangeable filters and are washable. They have been sent to New York City, Las Vegas, California, Dallas, Houston and Colorado.

Locally, they have had a pick up location and have gone to Baylor, Scott & White Health, Tyler Internal Medicine, Oncology of Tyler and the local hospitals.

Cobb, who is in his fourth year at All Saints, was an administrator at the Oakridge School in Arlington. When the coronavirus spread started, the five person team working on the masks shrunk down to just Cobb and his daughter, Cailey, who is a senior at Sweet Briar College in Virginia. She has been home since her college had to close because of the pandemic.

“We’ve tried to limit the amount of people who made them for safety,” said Cobb. “Because of orders, we have had two additional people working who have been a great help. It allows me to work on the 3D production, which takes about 10 hours to make two masks.”

School nurse Deby Ledesma and Innovation Specialist Patty Mabry are now part of the rotation.

“Our mission is, ‘We Want to Impact the World.’ In our Fab Lab we ask our students to think what the could make to have a community outreach portion,” said Cobb. “But never did we imagine it would be used for a pandemic, or to be used to fabricate mask masks and face shields.

“But we did always know it would be a facility to help others,” he continued. “So this is a blessing to me. Our students and teachers are using this as a way to be useful.”

While some have tried to pay for the masks, Cobb said, “We had the material, we are doing this just to help people.”

The school has 675 students and he hopes they return on May 4. He has also been busy with students who have enrolled for the 20-21 school year.

“We have a lot of new students coming in for next year. I was part of a virtual tour where we walked around campus,” said Cobb. “We are excited for next year, we are excited that this will pass.”


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John is a two-time national columnist of the year and AP award-winner in Texas and New York for breaking news, videos and sports. He earned the Thomas J. Bulson Investigative Journalism award and has appeared on CNBC's American Greed, FOX and CNN.