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Teen builds business in 3D

·3 min read

THUNDER BAY — Mason Maggrah is spending the summer like many other students, earning some spending cash.

Instead of working in a fast-food restaurant or other service establishment, he is selling 3D printed creations that he designs himself.

The 13-year-old entrepreneur enjoyed watching 3D videos online, and when he received a 3D printer for Christmas in 2019, there was no stopping him. Creating an online presence, he has begun to market and sell his creations.

“I have two YouTube channels. One of them is a bunch of 3D printing time lapses, real time 3D prints, and that shredder,” he said, pointing to a black and white device with a hand crank and multiple gears that shreds paper and took about 40 hours to print. “My second channel is a gaming channel.”

Sales are off and on for him because he says half of the time he is actively promoting his business online and the other half of the time he modifies the printer and creates things.

Originally from Thunder Bay, Maggrah lives in Atikokan, where he attends St. Patrick’s School and is visiting Thunder Bay for the summer.

Through a learning centre in Atikokan, he began printing 150 mask straps to help keep the strain off the ears of front-line workers who have to wear a mask for a long time, and more than 60 face shields.

He donated all of these to the Atikokan Hospital, which shared them with the town’s women’s centre.

“Getting the plastic and elastics for the face shields was probably harder than printing them,” he said.

Maggrah can whip up a bundle of four mask straps in a modified time of 20 minutes each. Most of the ideas are his and others come from printing-based websites.

“Sometimes I print them as they are (illustrated) or sometimes I modify them to the way I want them,” he said.

A local business in Atikokan hired him to make cookie cutters to include with her gift packages of baking for her clients. The cutters included various alphabet letters, numbers, witch hats, race cars, bottles and gingerbread house components that could be assembled together.

“She contracted him to make cookie cutters for her that she couldn’t find anywhere,” said his mom, Andrea.

“There is a lot of new up and coming things with 3D printers and they are going to make a huge impact in the future. I know they are making houses, airplanes and body parts and organs, and for him to be interested in this, I think it’s fantastic. We’ve got to start them young.”

“I started myself young,” he interjected, smiling.

Not only has Maggrah created useful items, which include mobile phone holders, one-handed book holders, a Tic Tac candy dispenser and a mischievous toothpick launcher, he modified his “Creality Ender 3” 3D printer as well.

He added multiple clips, knobs, guides, cable chains, a silencer fan for power supply, a filament spool holder . . . and some decorative white accents to the system, all printed on his 3D printer.

Maggrah’s YouTube channel is Sidewinder X01 (X-zero-one).

Sandi Krasowski, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Chronicle-Journal

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