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Layer by layer, 3D printers boost Japan coronavirus mask supply

TOKYO — The coronavirus pandemic has thrust fresh attention onto the use of 3D printers as users try to find a low-cost and small-scale route to create much-needed supplies of face masks, face shields and even ventilators.

Kyorindo Drug Store, a Japanese chain, recently purchased two 3D printers costing about $900 each so it can produce masks for employees at its headquarters in Shizuoka Prefecture. “We are doing what we can so that there will be more supplies available for our customers,” a spokesperson said.

The company, which operates 84 stores, has been giving staff one surgical mask per day

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