3D Printing Masks for Healthcare Workers

By: Beverly Owens

These are unprecedented times. Many of us are having to adjust to working from home, while simultaneously caring for our families - meeting the needs of our children, and trying to provide educational opportunities for our students. People who have careers in health care aren’t able to telework. Their presence at work is essential to helping our communities work through and overcome the COVID-19 pandemic.  

After hearing that there was a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE), and that healthcare workers had to reuse protective masks, sometimes for more than a week, I decided to research stl files that I could 3D print to see if there was a way that I might be able to help. I talked with some healthcare workers to see what there immediate needs were, and I started printing several different designs.

The most popular items have been ear guards – to attach mask straps behind the head and prevent sores from forming around the ears; masks – an added layer of protection meant to prevent the accumulation of pathogens on a cloth mask or bandana worn; and face shields – which can be worn over an n95 surgical mask or cloth mask to prevent aerosolized pathogens from getting on the face.

There are a lot of essential workers and facilities in need of these items – hospitals, doctor’s offices, nursing homes, and immunocompromised individuals. There are many free files available for download, and many of them (or their remixes) can be found on Thingiverse.

Want to pitch in?!

These are the links to download stl files that you can print and share with healthcare and essential workers in your area.

IMG 9631IMG 9618mask filtermask shield