In early April, RRHS seniors Chase Drake, Cesar Hernandez and Errett Corbiere started making face shields and ear guards, which are used to take pressure off the ears and alleviate discomfort while wearing face masks.
To date, they have created more than 3,250 ear guards and 130 face shields.
The equipment has been provided to workers at St. David's Round Rock Medical Center, Dell Children's Medical Center, the Round Rock Police Department and a variety of medical and retail locations.
Drake said he has been 3-D printing since eighth grade when he served as a teacher's aid in a gateway to technology class. The process, he said, involves creating a three-dimensional object by adding material down layer by layer, until it is joined and solidified under the printer's control. Drake said he initially found the design for the ear guards online and tailored them to the pandemic.
The response from recipients, he added, has been overwhelmingly positive.
"They've all loved them, everywhere I've brought them," Drake said. "There's a lot of benefits to [the masks] and everybody's been very appreciative of having these things."
Outside of developing guards and shields, Drake said he was granted a patent in March for devices he created to protect marching band instruments' bells, including tubas, from scratches. Drake, Hernandez and Corbiere graduated from RRHS on May 23, in the campus' commencement walk.
Drake plans to attend Texas A&M University for mechanical engineering, and was named a recipient of the university's five-year Brockman Scholarship, which is awarded to students pursuing a major in a science, technology, engineering or mathematics field, and includes a fifth-year master's degree.