Two students proudly holding up their 3D printed welding helmet prototype

Story credit: John Murphy, KCAU 9 News

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — Three students from the Sioux City Career Academy are helping to improve the welding industry.

They’ve developed several prototypes of a heat resistant welding cap by using a 3D printer. One of those prototypes can even use a solar powered fan to cool the cap.

One of the students, East High School Senior Caleb Kavanaugh, said this invention is something that could greatly improve welders working conditions.

“When we did research welders can get incredibly hot and it requires them to take many breaks. So, we thought that if we help that it could eliminate the fatigue that welders face and it could help them weld longer and not have to worry about worse welds that they make because of heat exhaustion,” said Kavanaugh.

Kavanaugh also spoke about the challenges of creating the prototypes.

“Making it fit is definitely one of the biggest issues that we’ve had, along with issues with our 3D printer that we’ve been using to make the iterations of the mask causing warping, straight up just not printing. But fitting everything together in such a small compact space is probably the biggest thing that we’ve faced,” said Kavanaugh.

According to the academy, the students are looking to receive a patent for the welding caps. They are hoping to get a response sometime near the end of 2023.

Read the story on the Siouxland Proud website.