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  • Currently we are printing face shields that are made from a 3D printed orange part here

  • that you're seeing. We're also printing frames that can hold alternative types of material

  • to your face. We also are making ventilator splitters, though I really hope to not have

  • to use these, as well as our primary project which is the respirator full face mask. These

  • are not normal conditions. A lot of what we're doing, we would never dream of doing if it

  • wasn't for a global pandemic. And people have to remember that this is a serious shot in

  • the dark at making a huge difference that we would never even undertake

  • under a normal circumstance.

  • Right as the COVID crisis was unfolding one of my nurse friends was giving

  • me updates. She was just every day "We don't have any PPE. We don't have masks." I kept

  • hearing all these stories and so here we are at this crossroads of do I just say I'm sorry

  • to hear that or do we do something? In response to urgent calls, a network of makers and doctors

  • have turned to 3D printers. And this effort has inspired a flood of new designs.

  • So the way the maker community works is all the projects are iterative. You start with a little seed

  • of an idea and then you build on it and then someone else takes it and builds on it. I

  • started digging in and trying to figure out what is the best design and how do we create

  • some sort of documentation that will allow medical practitioners and people like you

  • and me who want to go to the grocery store to feel at least a little bit safe with some

  • sort of mask that we believe is better than a tee shirt and probably not as good as an N95.

  • It became abundantly clear that there was a lot of misinformation out there like

  • how do you disinfect them? What filter material to use? How do you fit them to your face?

  • And so my work was to build a guide protocol to answer all those questions. But helping out is hard

  • when it comes to medical equipment because you know it has to work. It's not just as

  • easy as printing a mask and calling it a day. There's so many little tests that you need

  • to do to make sure that you're not making a mask that will just give you a false sense

  • of security and that was why I created the protocol. Like many other makers, Kosta's

  • designs are all open source. That is one of the reasons, along with rapid prototyping

  • and personalization, that 3D printing has become such a unique tool during this pandemic.

  • What we're seeing now is the inclusion of these miniature printing factories closer

  • to the places that need them most - hospitals.

  • We'll be printing a mask, a cover, putting

  • filters in the cover and putting straps on. We'll go through it from the start right now.

  • What you want is a piece that's going to fit flat right inside of this.

  • You could double up, but we're using one layer and gluing it in as a droplet filter.

  • So we're gonna take these two and fit in the nose slot. Push in until it clicks.

  • I have the same core people starting to show up every day to make a difference even after work.

  • They'll work all day in ICU from 5:00 AM to 5:00 PM,

  • and then they'll come in and put in five hours assembling masks.

  • Right now we're just getting it vetted internally and it is going to be

  • a hospital by hospital decision of what to wear.

  • Despite all of the upsides that 3D printing offers,

  • for a mask to be effective, it needs to be vetted and tested.

  • These DIY masks are recommended to use at your own discretionPeople assume that just

  • because a doctor is coming up with an idea, that this is tested and fully approved. They

  • are not equivalent. I'm a doctor at work, I'm a hobbyist and designer on the side.

  • I am combining them, but I am not a professional designer. These are just the best shot at

  • something that's better than a scarf. Dr. Wiles and Kosta are part of a distributed

  • network of makers in nearly every city. Many of their masks are addressing local needs

  • and, at the moment, aren't scaled up on a national level. Because a 3D printed mask

  • is a lot more complicated than it looksThere's a lot of good that can come from those products.

  • It's just really the tough question of, “Can we make them in a safe form and fashion, and

  • will they behave as intendedThe complexity is in a couple of factors that influence design.

  • So when you say N95, what that relates onto is the efficiency that which the filter is

  • able to remove that particulate. The other is, is that the device needs to conform to

  • the shape of your face because you need to create a seal in order to actually promote

  • the air that you're breathing in to go through the filter. You don't want it to go through

  • the side of the mask. America Makes is responding to the influx of designs coming from the 3D

  • printing community with the NIH 3D Print Exchange to address open questions about safety, fit,

  • and efficacy. Folks will put their data on there, upload their designs,

  • and then from there through the partnerships

  • that we've established, those designs are assessed. Those partnerships include the VA

  • and FDA - they'll clinically review the designs as well as offer feedback on the regulations

  • surrounding medical devicesBeing able to make in some instances these fairly complex devices,

  • I mean that's where I think the innovation is. It is very exciting to see the evolution

  • of it, to see the pace at which it occurred, and to see that it's going for the right type

  • of purpose. Now that we have these designs that have been vetted in this clinical setting,

  • we make the medical care provider community aware that this catalog of devices exists.

  • A lot of this has been trial and error. You create, create, create, you collaborate with

  • other people. Build, build, build as fast as possible.

  • And then test, test, test, test again. And try to break it. And what you end up with

  • is something that's robust and that can potentially do the job, until it can't do

  • the job. And then, go back and build it again. Being both a doctor and a maker is hard because

  • I am getting pulled in multiple directions. I was just up in the ICU checking on how people

  • are doing, distributing some face shields. Our actual goal here is that no one will ever

  • have to use these masks. These are intended to be stockpiled at locations that fear a

  • total shortage, as a last resort if it ever comes to that. It's been a wonderful opportunity

  • to be able to put the technology and skills and the people that I know, put it all to

  • work to make something that can be helpful to other people. That's my only goal is just

  • to be a little helpful.

Currently we are printing face shields that are made from a 3D printed orange part here

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B1 printing mask build filter test test kosta

Inside the 3D Printing Movement to Build Face Masks

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    Summer posted on 2020/05/10
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