During this coronavirus outbreak, face masks are becoming a huge problem facing doctors and many others. It is recommended to change disposable masks every four hours and not to reuse them after disinfection. There is currently a strong demand for masks, while the supply is limited. How can we solve it?

Without disposable masks, people use plastic and fabric to make baby masks or diapers. All of these masks can potentially reduce the risk of infection, but they do not work in all circumstances.

There are several projects, like that of the company Creality, or thingiverse, which share reusable masks for 3D printing. It is designed according to the ergonomics to adapt to the contour of the face of each one.

How to make a 3D printed face mask.

  1. Depending on the face size, select the face mask frame that best suits you. Three STL files are provided here in three different sizes. The large size is suitable for men, the medium size is generally suitable for women, and the smaller size is suitable for children (Mask of CreativityProtective glasses)
  2. Import the STL file to the 3D printer and wait for the final result to come out. In the meantime, prepare all the materials including cotton cloth (or activated carbon cloth), PE plastics, flexible rope, tape, all of which are needed to make a full face mask.
  3. Cut the cotton cloth (or the activated charcoal cloth) in the shape corresponding to the face mask frame. Then wrap the 3D printed face mask with all supporting filter materials. There are three easy steps to finish a full face mask.

Benefits of 3D printed face mask

  1. Easy to do. With the STL file ready to print, you just need to print the face mask on a 3D printer. Then you just need to wrap the face mask frame with filter materials such as active carbon fiber or other common materials such as cotton cloth, paper towel with plastic wrap.
  2. Effective. The 3D printed face mask is designed according to the face contour to properly fit the face of people. Less space between the face mask and the face can effectively reduce the risk of coronavirus infection.
  3. Reusable. The 3D printed face mask can be durable and sturdy for long time use. People just need to change the filter material regularly and wash the frame. (Note: Active carbon fabric is more recommended for high antibacterial index up to 99%).
  4. Ecological. The 3D printed face mask is made from PLA, a 100% non-toxic material extracted from corn and other vegetables.
  5. Good breathability. The 3D printed face mask is designed in a spatial grid, greatly improving air ventilation and human breathability.

In thingiverse.com We have found another 3D mask model. If you enter the link, you will be able to access all the details and models for its manufacture.

Another proposal is the result of the collaboration between the Councilor of the Municipality of Cosenza, Dr. Andrea Falbo, with delegation in active work strategies, and Professor Bruno Gioffrè, of the Da Vinci Institute. They are in Dropbox.