A former Microsoft executive named Jonathan Roberts leveraged his connections in the city of Seattle and elsewhere to achieve certification for a 3D printable respirator mask that makers can download and manufacture on their 3D printers.
Among the many designs the 3D printing community is contributing to arm health care workers with medical equipment necessary to protect themselves as they treat patients with coronavirus, this is the first one to receive National Health Institutes of Health certification for COVID-19 response.
Despite the 3D printing community’s best efforts and intentions, lingering doubts about the viability of 3D-printed masks, visors and shield designs remain—at least when compared to traditionally manufactured and standardized health equipment.
The Maker Mask has already been downloaded more than 35,000 times in 117 different countries to meet increasing demand. It features a replaceable HEPA filter and costs only between two to three dollars of material to print. The Maker Mask was created by Rory Larson, who is now part of a makeshift Maker Mask production unit running out of a Seattle church. The small unit is composed of a mostly volunteer workforce and is currently producing 100 Maker Masks per day on 12 3D printers.
The NIH approval extends to use of the Maker Mask for law enforcement officers, fire and rescue personnel, and emergency response providers. The Maker Mask website allows anyone to register and download instructions and also offers help in sourcing materials to produce the masks in any location.
Read more at ENGINEERING.com