AM in the time of COVID-19AM Industry

Extol offers 3D printed SCBA mask adapter for firefighters and healthcare workers*

The COVID-19 protection devices are made using multijet fusion

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Extol, a large manufacturer of plastic tools and industrial parts developed a 3D printed adapter for SCBA (supplier air respirators) masks that can allow first responders during the COVID-19 emergency to extend the life of their N95 masks [please note that the product has since been discontinued].

Many firefighters and emergency medical personnel are required to wear an N95 mask on each call, but they are facing a shortage of N95 masks. Extol worked with local first responders to design and manufacture an adapter that allows for firefighters to use their current fit-tested SCBA facepiece with a filter cut from an N95 mask or other appropriate antimicrobial filter media.

With the adapter, firefighters can significantly extend the life of a single N95 mask. Extol is manufacturing the adapters using HP multijet fusion 3D printing technology.

The adapters work with several different types of standard SCBA face pieces including Scott (AV2000 & AV3000), MSA G1, MSA Firehawk and Sperian. Each N95 mask can be cut up for as many as 6 or 7 uses without worrying about contamination of the filter. Between uses, the entire SCBA mask can be removed and disinfected or just wiped down, based on the completed incident.

Currently, N95 masks are not included with the SCBA Mask Adapters. However, Extol is working on providing pre-cut filters in the near future. The NIH, in partnership with America Makes, has also recently presented a number of 3D printable designs, including face masks that can allow the use of filters cut our from N95 masks (or another antimicrobial medium) in order to extend the life of masks as supply issues continue through the COVID-19 emergency.

*Please note that this product has since been discontinued.

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Davide Sher

Since 2002, Davide has built up extensive experience as a technology journalist, market analyst and consultant for the additive manufacturing industry. Born in Milan, Italy, he spent 12 years in the United States, where he completed his studies at SUNY USB. As a journalist covering the tech and videogame industry for over 10 years, he began covering the AM industry in 2013, first as an international journalist and subsequently as a market analyst, focusing on the additive manufacturing industry and relative vertical markets. In 2016 he co-founded London-based VoxelMatters. Today the company publishes the leading news and insights websites and, as well as VoxelMatters Directory, the largest global directory of companies in the additive manufacturing industry.

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