AM in the time of COVID-19AM Industry

WASP shares open source processes for production of personalized PPE masks and helmets

Downloadable, free and 3D printable

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In compliance with the rules imposed by the Italian government for the health of workers and the fight against COVID-19, company activity at WASP has continued regularly. At the same time, the Italian firm decided to convert its innovation capacity in order to fight Coronavirus. The projects that the WASP Research and Development department has been working on have been temporarily set aside in order to work on two new open source project: the MY FACE MASK with interchangeable filter and the MY SPACE drip protection helmet with ventilation and integrated filtering.

The personalized PPE mask

WASP is now sharing an entire process that, starting from a 3D face scan, allows you to create and customize a mask for each operator. The material used is PCL (polycaprolactone). It is a biomaterial that can remain in contact with the skin. The masks were 3D printed using the Delta WASP 4070. After designing a basic model that follows facial features just like a second skin, WASP’s goal was to make the mask perfectly ergonomic, which was achieved using Blender software. The mask can be disinfected and used several times, while an interchangeable filter must be inserted in its central part. It takes about four hours of printing to create a mask that perfectly adheres to the face eliminating irritations caused by extensive use.

 

WASP released the project as open-source. Instructions and .stl files for download are available here and on the company’s website. WASP used photogrammetry as a scanning method since it can be performed using a mobile phone. If necessary, a manual laser or structured light 3D scanner can also be used.

The positive pressure helmet

It is an air-conditioned personal space, ventilated and protected from any virus: a positive pressure protective helmet. This is My Space, the result of a few days of experimentation that allowed WASP to rapidly move from prototype to production for internal use through the use of AM.

personalized PPE mask

Getting close without the fear of being infected is one of the most pressing needs in this period. The helmet is made of light and transparent plastic material, it is easy to wear and creates a protected personal space. Nose, mouth, eyes, ears, everything is enclosed in a pressurized casing, without the limitation in respiratory capacity caused by the masks. The fresh and clean air comes from above, while small holes by the ears allow sound to enter.

The holes are protected by an outlet airflow and can be closed if desired. A battery powers the fan for several hours. Currently the first five helmets are ready. These are non-certified devices that WASP will internally test to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses and subsequently give them to front-line operators for medical testing. The instructions series production will be available on WASP’s website.

Research continues and WASP has placed itself at the service of research centers, universities, public and private bodies, to share knowledge. Please add/discuss anything useful related to this in the dedicated forum.

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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 VoxelMatters.com and Replicatore.it, as well as VoxelMatters Directory, the largest global directory of companies in the additive manufacturing industry.

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12 Comments

    1. Not really, depends on the print process. In case of doubt, use a sealant.

      You can print water and air tight objects with the right settings, and I don’t know about PCL, but I’m going to print my mask in PETG.
      Not this one, one I’m designing with more convenient filters.

      Cheers

  1. I just printed the mask with supplied stl files. It sort of works but there is a catch: you will need to have the exact face as the model otherwise the fit is not great. So for normal person this mask does not even work as well as those generic ones as they are not customized to a specific face contour.

  2. If concerned about ear hole flaps, consider mini microphone, magnetically coupled to ferrous ring on opposite side of sheet. Can be BT or wired to small speaker, or BT’d to cellphone earpiece

    1. No need to concern, it is positive pressure helmet, small holes are not a problem since air always flow out.

  3. How do I fit the mask to my face? Is there ans instruction on that?
    I have never modelled something except for some mini alterations in existing stl files… Anyone can help?
    Thanks in advance.

  4. Great idea. All with home 3D printers should start making for their family and friends. I will… Stay safe.

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