COVID19 continues to spread around the world from the end year of 2019. To stop the coronavirus, many countries have to implement travel restrictions, ban gatherings, close schools, work from home plan, etc. At the same time, a lot of doctors and nurses are fighting against the deadly pandemic. But shortages of necessary protective equipment have become a big problem. There is no enough equipment for healthcare workers, such as face shields, N95 masks, gloves, safety gowns, and so on. Even though you are not a healthcare worker, maybe you don’t know where to get some protective equipment too.
If you have some 3d printers, you might have a question: Can I 3d print some personal protective equipment (PPE) for doctors or myself? The answer is yes. In fact, the FDA has issued guidance on the Technical Considerations for Additive Manufactured Medical Devices. And the CDC has an article about Strategies for Optimizing the Supply of Facemasks.
If can design 3d models, you can read these articles and try to do that by yourself. If you don’t want to do that, and just want to print some parts, there are some open source models too.
In this article, we will choose some relating models. You can download these models directly and print them with your 3d printers.
But keep in mind, you can use 3d printed protective equipment to offer a physical barrier to the environment, but the equipment may not provide air filtration enough. And they may not provide the same fluid barrier protection as FDA-cleared surgical face shields and N95 respirators. So, if you are on the front line of fighting COVID19, we recommend you to get professional protective equipment.
1. NANOHACK MASK-a common protective equipment
It is an open-source 3d printed face mask which can be used in common spaces. They recommend to use a triple-layer non-woven polypropylene filter that is developed by Copper company inside the mask. And if you cannot get this type of filter, some other filter material can work too.
You can use this mask many times. But you should change the non-woven filter once a day.
About the printing material, they recommend PLACTIVE® (high quality PLA based material) for the monoblock structure and MDflex® (TPU based material) to print the outer rim.
Because it may be hard to get MDflex®, they release a version with an integrated rim into the monoblock structure. And you should use some additional sealant materials for cheeks and nose. You can download this version STL models on copper3d.com.
All faces are different. So if the mask is a little bigger or smaller, you can try to rescale the model by 5%~10%.
2. Stopgap Surgical Face Mask (SFM)
When the standard PPE(personal protective equipment) becomes unavailable, SFM is designed to work as a backup. It consists of the following parts-the main body, filter cover, elastic strips, and a rectangular patch of filter material. The original 3d printing material is Nylon. But you can try other materials too. To use this mask, you should prepare some filter materials ( 2.25×2.25 in patch).
You can download files at the NIH 3D Print Exchange, including 3D model, Manufacturing Guidance, Bill of Materials, etc.
3. Prusa Face Shield-a popular protective equipment
It is fully open-source. Anyone can download the file to modify and produce the shield. You can print this face shield with your FDM printer. And it can be used by anyone who has to be in contact with many people. When assembling the face shields, you need to be very careful and must use a face mask and gloves. Several versions can be downloaded. You can use PETG material when printing, and no support material is needed. You can download the 3D model and get more information here.
Besides the above protective equipment, there are more models at NIH 3D Print Exchange.
4. Filter Material
Filter material is very important. Different materials have different breathability and different filtering capability. If you don’t know what filter material you should use, you can read this article to get more information.