The situation, which has been going on for almost a month, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, has put the inhabitants of almost all the world in a completely unusual position. There is a lot of talk about social isolation, according to which limiting contacts with other people is the most appropriate attitude that will allow to slow down the rate of infection of other people.

However, many people – especially health care professionals – cannot afford remote work. It is with them in mind that volunteers from the world of 3D printing have unified and constantly create 3D printed shields, protecting against droplet infection. The project is still enjoying great popularity around the world, meeting the approval of doctors, nurses and paramedics.

However, this is not the only project that came from the bottom-up initiative of the 3D printing community. Worthy of note is the project initiated by Przemysław Stachura, who by publishing the designed models of adapters for protective masks gathered a group of people who design, 3D print and distribute designs of adapters for various types of masks and filters. Their print4medic application connects those who need help and those who can provide it.

At the same time, we constantly receive ideas and projects from you that can help but inspire at this special time. Below are some of them:

Design of adapters for 3M masks

Designers from RSAVE have prepared a model of angle adapters for DAR filters (used to connect the respirator with the patient), matching 3M masks. As the author of the project says, being a paramedic, knowing the needs and inconveniences resulting from the use of adapters, he designed the angled version. He adds that an important aspect in adapters is to position the filter backwards so that it does not interfere with the use of additional protection in the form of a helmet. In addition, due to this arrangement, the filter is not directed towards the patient.

The authors recommend printing their elements from PET-G material. They emphasize that the angle adapter has been designed so that it does not need supports during printing – placed on the right side of the mask. The blanking plug needs a support in its central part, but due to its size, it minimizes the printing time (it is tightened on the left side of the mask). The adapters fit the entire 3M mask series.


Air cleaning system for protective helmets

Bernard Połednik, a scientist at the Lublin University of Technology, sent us his project. About his design, which is an improvement on the standard helmet, he writes:

The device consists of a module that generates overpressure and purifies the air (fan with fabric / paper HEPA filter), which is connected by a flexible hose with an air flow channel in the supra-frontal helmet. This channel ends with outlet nozzles directing air towards the nose and mouth of the user. The nozzles can be equipped with an adjustable gap or air outlet holes enabling its laminar outflow. The visor’s visor is transparent, anti-reflective. The supply of dry, filtered air prevents the visor from misting up and allows the user to breathe uncontaminated air.

The creators are in the process of patenting their solution. Below are illustrations from the patent application, illustrating the ideas of the device.

Description: 1 (5) – vacuum generating module (overpressure); 2 (4) – flexible cable; 4 (2) – air nozzles with adjustable gap or holes; 6 – transparent cover

Where to look for models?

The number of models that can help counteract the growth of people infected with SARS CoV-2 virus is growing exponentially. How to find a model in the thicket of the project that will provide us with security? A trusted source of models is, among others The website, where the United States Department of Health and Humanitarian Aid recommends models for self-assembly during the COVID -19 pandemic. The models are divided into categories according to their safety of use – each has a short characteristic, 3D printing parameters and a link to download the model. You can also find popular 3D models on the 3D Printing Center.

When 3D printing replacement personal protective equipment yourself, follow all hygiene and safety rules. It should be remembered that the virus can survive several hours on the surface of the plastic, so it is recommended to use disposable masks and rubber gloves when working on the elements. It is also important to work in a clean environment with maximum caution.

Magdalena Przychodniak
Editor-in-Chief of the 3D Printing Center. A biomedical engineer following the latest reports on bioprinting and 3D printing in modern medicine.

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