Science

Nonprofit releases open source tool for making 3D print reusable protective masks


A nonprofit initiative has set out fill the need of protective masks during the coronavirus pandemic.

Mask Maker has released the first medically-approved design for 3D printed protective masks in an open source tool that is available to the public online.

The masks can be created using commonly available materials and hobbyist grade 3D printers for a cost of about $2.00 to $3.00 per unit for materials – and they can be manufactured in just a few hours.

The finished product is reusable and is equivalent of 300 disposable masks over a two month period.

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Mask Maker has released the first medically-approved design for 3D printed protective masks in an open source tool that is available to the public online. The masks can be created using commonly available materials and hobbyist grade 3D printers

Mask Maker has released the first medically-approved design for 3D printed protective masks in an open source tool that is available to the public online. The masks can be created using commonly available materials and hobbyist grade 3D printers

The coronavirus (COVID-19) first made headlines in December 2019, when cases began popping up in Wuhan, China.

Within a few weeks it had spread throughout the country and has infected nearly every part of the world.

As of Tuesday, there are more than 786,000 cases and over 37,000 deaths reported around the globe.

However, the US is now feeling the brunt of the virus and suffering dramatically from a shortage of masks, as healthcare workers are using tens of thousands a day, with some reusing their gear to get by.

The finished product is reusable and is equivalent of 300 disposable masks over a two month period

The finished product is reusable and is equivalent of 300 disposable masks over a two month period

The US is now feeling the brunt of the virus and suffering dramatically from a shortage of masks, as healthcare workers are using tens of thousands a day, with some reusing their gear to get by

The US is now feeling the brunt of the virus and suffering dramatically from a shortage of masks, as healthcare workers are using tens of thousands a day, with some reusing their gear to get by

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There are more than 164,000 cases and the death toll has surpassed 3,000 in the states.

Now, Mask Maker is helping both healthcare officials and the public stay protected during the outbreak.

The finished product is reusable, wearers can switch out the filters and molds to fit the unique shape of their own face

The finished product is reusable, wearers can switch out the filters and molds to fit the unique shape of their own face

Jonathan Roberts, co-founder of nonprofit RPrime and leader of Maker Mask said: ‘The COVID-19 pandemic is an all-hands-on-deck crisis.’

‘It feels good to be able to take action and start getting respirators to clinicians, first responders, and essential service workers.

‘Sophisticated hobbyists with a $300 3D Printer can get a respirator to their neighbors within hours.’

The design allows CAD-based 3D mask printing to be combined with readily available, replaceable components such as weather stripping, elastic and vacuum cleaner bags.

The finished product is reusable, wearers can switch out the filters and molds to fit the unique shape of their own face.

And the firm notes that because it is reusable, one mask is equivalent of 300 disposable masks over a two month period.

The design allows CAD-based 3D mask printing to be combined with readily available, replaceable components such as weather stripping, elastic and vacuum cleaner bags

The design allows CAD-based 3D mask printing to be combined with readily available, replaceable components such as weather stripping, elastic and vacuum cleaner bags

The coronavirus (COVID-19) first made headlines in December 2019, when cases began popping up in Wuhan, China. Within a few weeks it had spread throughout the country and has infected nearly every part of the world

The coronavirus (COVID-19) first made headlines in December 2019, when cases began popping up in Wuhan, China. Within a few weeks it had spread throughout the country and has infected nearly every part of the world

The team is also working around the clock with 20 3D printers to churn out 1,000 masks per week and plans to have small operations sites around the country.

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‘To help this effort scale, we’re establishing a strong ecosystem and a network of small batch production sites that will support tremendous production potential,’ said Roberts.

‘It’s an opportunity for everyone from individuals, hospitals, communities, churches, schools, industry, to government organizations to cooperate and respond to this critical need.

‘People who would like to help with this effort and need mask designs should go to the MakerMask.com website.’ 

 



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