12-year-old Bay Area boy manufactures 3-D printed device to limit spread of COVID-19

A Bay Area boy is manufacturing a device to battle the spread of coronavirus. 

It's a tool, made with a 3-D printer, to avoid touching surfaces with your hands. 

"I was excited and surprised how many sales we got, I was very happy," said Mizan Rupan-Tompkins of South San Francisco. 

The 12 year old demonstrated the creation at a nearby mall, entering stores using the small hook-like device to open doors without direct contact.

"I think most of the excitement is because of his age," said Mizan's mother Ronica Rupan

Tompkins, showing how a small puncher on the device can be used on keypads, at ATM's, cashiers, and gas stations. 

"I really made it for my parents and now it's helping everyone," said Mizan, who came up with the idea early in the pandemic, when he saw his parents trying to avoid touching objects that might be contaminated. 

"We were basically struggling using our sleeves," said his dad Raphael Tompkins. 

At the time, hand sanitizer was in short supply.    

"Since I couldn't find any, I was just using my sleeve, and he said let me print you something, and when he printed this for me it was perfect," recalled his mom Ronica. 

After Mizan sold a few prototypes online, his "Safe Touch Pro" took off, and to date, he's sold about 300, with dozens of new orders daily at $14.99 each.    

Mizan researched others stylus designs on the market, and makes his tool from plant-based plastic that is germ resistant.

"I wanted to make sure it was good for the environment and the virus can't survive on it," he explained. 

A YouTube video with his device in action has generated even more demand.

Mizan started with one 3-D printer, but now has 3, since each tool takes about a half hour to make. 

Some of his customers are in health care, but many just want to avoid microbes lurking on everyday surfaces.

Mizan started with one 3-D printer, but now has 3, since each tool takes about a half hour to make.

"When I was younger, a couple of years ago, I created an age-guessing bot which is a robot that can guess age, gender and emotions in seconds," he recalled. 

Mizan has also built a computer, and his own Alexa, from scratch, and learns computer code for fun in his spare time. 

But ask if he's a typical twelve year old? 

"Yeah, I like video games and martial arts and other things," he responds. 

His parents are supporting his manufacturing efforts, with his mom is handling customer service. 

"At this age, if he's doing this at 12, what is he going to be doing at 16? So we're very proud of him," says Ronika. 

Mizan's dad is a product designer himself, and lends expertise.

"I know nothing about 3-D printers, that's all him, but I just did my part to help him out on the website," said Raphael. 

Mizan is the oldest of three children, and entering the 9th grade next year. 

He has been home-schooled for the past 3 years. 

Looking to future goals, he says he loves aviation, and may purse a career as a pilot, or in aeronautical design or technology.

"Maybe a combination," he suggests. 

And Mizan expects the germ-curbing tool to have staying power.

"After the pandemic is over, people will still be mindful and careful about their surroundings and this product will still be helpful," says Mizan.  

For more information, visit Mizan's website, https://www.safetouchprohandle.com/.