I’m hearing that some health institutions are starting to use 3d printed masks.
Copper3D released an antimicrobial PLA and a free STL of a n95 mask – but again that would require PLA so Form printers can’t use it
Is there anyway for someone with a Formlabs printer to help or even get close to providing protection like a n95 mask?
Has anyone made progress in this direction?
Hey there @mohsink102!
Yes! Absolutely! We’ve been trying to collect folks who are ready and willing to help. You can sign up here. We’ve gotten more than 500 responses so far from all around the world.
I signed up and offered support, but haven’t been contacted yet.
I’ve seen a lot of “hacker” type initiatives begun, many of which strike me as naive (i.e. they don’t have the expertise, any start on designs, plans for testing, or shown any of the other considerations needed to scale reliable parts). Medical safety standards are there for a reason. I signed up to the Formlabs list in hopes it would attract higher caliber projects that actually have a good chance of making an impact.
Don’t get me wrong - I’m all for improvisation and hacking together ingenious solutions out of whatever you’ve got lying around to solve a problem! In fact I’m a volunteer firefighter and designed a 3D printed bracket a while back to mate our headlamps to new helmets after the manufacturer of the latter tweaked their design just enough to prevent the visors from opening and closing properly with the factory originals installed. But even for a simple project like this, it wasn’t just a matter of hitting print and distributing them. It took several iterations to get right, including durability and fit testing, heat and flame tests (which led to mixing a flame-retardant additive to the resin), etc.
In any case, I’m ready and willing. If you know of a promising endeavour, get in touch!
 This topic is being discussed a lot on Hackernews, eg:
There are more if you search. I’m no expert but some of the cautionary comments left by physicians are quite insightful (vents are particularly hard to get right - too much pressure and you burst the lungs, too little oxygen and you asphyxiate the patient, and it needs to be tuned over the course of the disease as viral buildup and damage in the lungs impairs absorption, etc). Reviving simple, old designs like the Manley Ventilator has even been suggested (used in Europe for decades, no electricity required) although I imagine there are good clinical reasons those designs were abandoned for more contemporary ones.
For sure. Don’t mean to discourage at all, just looking forward to see some promising projects!
I’m ready and willing to help, but I’m still confused. I have a Form 3 with a bunch of Standard and Draft Resin, but I’m reading that the STL file going around isn’t suitable for resin printers? Is there one yet?
Additionally if there is a design that works with a Formlabs printer, is the Standard Resin safe to use?
Make sure you sign up on the Google form I linked above! You’ll be contacted with more details once we have them.
We’re putting together a custom .STL that’s designed for Formlabs machines and materials. Testing went on all weekend and we’re in validation stages at the moment.
I’m actually disappointed in Formlabs response to this virus. They have the opportunity to coordinate their printers around the world to produce medical devices to help people. Prusa worked with the Czech government and made an open source face guard.
Copper3D is working on an open source facemask design.
We could be printing valves and medical devices on our printers.
I’ve also volunteered my Form 2/wash/cure and Ultimaker via the Formlabs signup. However, I’m running low on resin. I don’t want to jump the gun and order more resin in case I order the wrong type, but I will if there is some certainty around what resin to use should/when the various designs get the green light.
I don’t normally print with surgical guide resin, but I’ll order some if that’s the suggested type.
We’re coordinating a response all over the world between ourselves, the 3D printing community, and several major hospitals such as MGH and Deaconess here in the Boston area. So far we’ve gotten more than 1000 responses, and we hope to get many more. Currently we’re prototyping using our Dental SG resin to print COVID testing swabs. They’re undergoing testing and validation before they get into the public’s hands. I promise we’ve got a lot going on. Obviously the stuff coming out of the Prusa folks is incredible as well! We’re all in this together.
I have filled out the form. based in New orleans and looking to help,
People need to understand that the 3D printed mask by Copper3D is meant to be used with their antimicrobial filament. If you print it with normal PLA, the porous nature of FDM printing could make it a breeding ground for bacteria and cause an infection. That, combined with the loose glass fibers in the recommended furnace air filter makes this project such a terrible terrible idea that shouldn’t be on the internet.
Is it referring to this:
Or are you working on other items, too? Need any help with design work?
Should I be ordering some Dental SG resin to be ready to start? Know if there’s any funding available for supplies like that? I know it might be early to ask, but will it need to be cleaned and post-processed using the full “bio-safe” protocol (different wash bucket, tools, etc)?