Is there anyone who doesn’t want to help with the Covid-19 pandemic now sweeping the world? (Well, yes, but that’s a whole ‘nother topic altogether.)
I’m among those who are sheltering in place as well as those who want to help.
This all began when I was contacted from someone at Arizona State University who was trying to help a hospital here in Arizona 3D print respirator parts.
After an initial contact, I hadn’t heard much, but I was getting emails from friends who had seen articles about 3D printing masks to address the critical shortage of them. I figured the best thing I could do was look into printing masks.
I found 2 different designs, complete with .STL files, which are the basis for 3D printing:
If I’d been able to get my hands on a real mask I would have been able to create my own .STL file, but they are in obvious demand, so these would have to suffice ….
I printed the first one, now called the Montana Mask, adding a filter and a copper screen over that, because Covid-19 doesn’t much like copper. Our neighbor, an emergency room doctor, had said a household 19 air filter seemed to work, but those weren’t available, so I purchased an Elite Allergen Pleated FPR 10 at Home Depot, where I also got the elastic bands – good luck finding any elastic at a sewing store!
I then purchased some 50×50 .009 copper wire cloth sheet from MSC, where I get a lot of my supplies for my sculpting, which I put over the filter. I added some weatherstripping around the perimeter of the mask to help seal it to the face.
The second, “Hack the Pandemic” mask, which is printed flat and then shaped using a hair dryer, called for an exotic filament (“PLACTIVE® and MDflex®, innovative Nanocomposites developed by Copper3D, high quality PLA and TPU with a patented, scientifically validated and highly effective Nano-Copper based additive”) that I could only find in Europe, but frankly, they probably need it as much or more than we do here in the United States, so I simply printed it in PLA. It printed flat, so, following the instructions, I used a hair dryer to shape it. I also used the hair dryer on the Montana mask for a better fit.
UPDATE: The print-flat “Hack the Pandemic” mask is problematic and not to be used. See this video. The file for that mask is now replaced with another on the site.
I’ve been in contact with 3 different hospitals to see if these can help – it takes 2-1/2 hours to print each, so I need some lead time if I can print enough to help.
And I do want to help – it will take a huge group effort to fight this killer.
If you know of any health care facilities that would like masks, please let me know.