Face Masks: sewn, formed & 3D printed

There were several shared posts online about mask-making projects to help protect oneself from the virus (Covid-19). I’ve attempted to make some of them and here’s what I think of them…

Copper 3D Mask #hackthepandemic

This is a great initiative by Copper 3D which I believe also coincides with the promotion of their anti-microbial PETg filament. This is easy to print provided that you follow their instructions or adjust your printer settings accordingly so as not to waste materials and time with a failed print. Also, it only takes at least one hour and thirty minutes and uses only 33g of filament (plastic). Longer if printing fine quality of course. Unfortunately, assembly is another matter (see below).

Without a mould to mould this to while it is soft, it will be a hit and miss assembly.

Vacuum-Formed Mask

I saw the initiative on the Mayku Community Forum. Mayku is a desktop vacuum forming machine designed by a couple of Londoners. It is a very versatile machine, I use it to create various products.

Vacuum forming the mask.

I downloaded the template from Thingiverse, printed, formed, cut and assembled it. The only thing I found challenging is cutting it smoothly. Because of the material/sheet used, one should be careful so the wearer will not risk scratching/cutting their face with this. Also, more holes should be added to both parts so it is easier to breathe. My solution for this is an edge file printed using a flexible filament that can hold both formed sheets together and make it safe to use.

Based on this design, someone from the Philippines, Vaquform, created an alternative. I haven’t printed the mould yet as I am trying to work out how to assemble it.

Sewn Facemask

This is the quickest and easiest to make with various models to chose from that should cover different shapes and sizes (face& nose). A seasoned crafter can make one in 8-10 minutes.

Below are various places where you can find patterns and instructions on how to make these…

The global community of creators are indeed amazing.

Anyway, I am tempted to make the family’s masks using the data from our 3d scanned faces and the vacuum formed model added to it to create a mould. Then form it, add the filters inside…

Stay safe. Stay indoors.