Free 3D Printable “Maker Mask” Receives Federal Approval
Andrew Wheeler posted on April 20, 2020 |
Respirator mask receives National Institutes of Health certification.

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.

(Image courtesy of Maker Mask.)
(Image courtesy of Maker Mask.)

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.

Bottom Line

People worldwide are uniting to manufacture medical supplies for health care workers in medical facilities to assist in the effort to treat those afflicted with coronavirus and to halt the spread of COVID-19. From the #MillionMaskChallenge trending on Twitter to 3D-printed swabs produced by Formlabs and a CoVent-19 Challenge with an aggregate of the most viable 3D designs available for printing, the 3D printing community is doing its part to help stem this global health crisis.  The Maker Mask is just the latest project proving how vital and nimble 3D printing can be to communities in need around the globe.

To download a Maker Mask and to contribute to the Maker Mask Covid-19 Initiative, click here.

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