Even if you’re going outside with just a simple homemade cloth mask, there’s some 3d printed accessories I can show you that might help make them more effective.
One of the hardest things about working from home and relative isolation for all these weeks is that I haven’t had access to all the 3d printers and laser cutters and other tools In the scene at maker lab.
And this is a perfect time for two because everyone does 3D printing and creating face shields and face masks and accessories and sharing them with their friends and their family or local organizations and the hospitals that need them.
And I’ve been very left out of that loop.
So I was finally able to get a 3D printer delivered here to me.
It’s a new Da Vinci Junior from XYZ Printing.
It’s one of their more professional models.
It’s got a fairly large print bed, and you can use all sorts of filament with it.
And of course, I immediately went to work looking up some of those popular designs for mask accessories and even working on a couple of my own designs.
All things that will help make the protective gear that you have more effective.
The first thing I dealt with is these homemade cloth masks.
I’ve actually got my mother here and she has been churning these out for people in this town and local organizations.
The first versions had cloth straps that you would tie around the back of your head.
The second versions were with elastic and these like a surgical mask would go over the back of your ear.
That’s pretty good.
Uncomfortable for people.
So one of the first things I found to 3D print, were these little clamps that you could use with the elastic on the facemask.
And you just hook the elastic over here, and it’s got several sizing options on it and around Around the other side, and you put it on like that and it really holds on Well, I was very happy with this design.
I wish the elastic we had to work with was a little bit thinner to fit into the fins.
I could either make the fins a little bit wider Or try a different design, but for the wide elastic and the multiple size options, I found this be very effective and it printed very quickly.
I made a whole bunch of these, then I went back to the cloth string versions of the Mask than those look like this and you would put them on And you will tie them.
I found a design for some really cool clasps like a 3D print and they hook together a little like this and they hold the mask very securely.
So you put these on like this, clasp them top the back, give a little tag here, and that tightens them, and that’s become quickly my favorite way to wear a mask.
And of course when you have these clasp mask which is really what a lot of people are making right now You want to make sure that they’re secure on your face, you get a pretty decent seal around your nose around your chin, and that you can tighten it effectively and you’re not always fidgeting with it.
That’s the problem with a lot of homemade masks especially, you end up adjusting them and moving them and fixing them and that involves a lot of face, touching.
That’s exactly what you want to avoid.
So for elastic straps, I love this class right here and for fabric straps.
I really love this two piece class that that is very effective and holds very nicely.
So those are the couple things I like for taking your homemade cloth masks and making them more effective.
Another thing I saw a lot of is people printing face shields, they would basically print the headband for a face shield and then attach some clear plastic material to it.
I managed to a couple of headbands printed up fairly easily .It took me a little while to get some plastic, I managed to get some plastic sheets.
I took a simple hole punch with the designs I printed and punched out three holes.
And now I have a reasonably effective looking facial that fits on just like that.
And people make these in very large quantities because the headbands are fairly quick to make on a 3D printer and even if you don’t have the plastic Local organizations appreciate the face shield strap part and they can add the plastic themselves.
Or of course you can do the entire project like this.
And of course you add whatever you want to tie it on the back.
I just have some string here.
You could try elastic.
I’ve done it with rubber bands.
There’s a whole lot of ways to do it.
So face masks and face shields are both very useful things to have and things that people appreciate getting from you.
Another thing that I’ve seen a lot of versions of online and of course I had to print a whole bunch of are tools for opening doors pressing buttons doing things that you normally would do with your hands.
And of course you don’t want to do that when you’re out at the supermarket at the bank anywhere else.
I tried a couple of different designs First tried this one that’s very small.
It’s got some good finger holders on it.
It’s got a nice hook for gripping onto a door and opening it and I really liked it.
It has a pointer.
So if you’re at the ATM machine or the credit card machine at the supermarket, you can tap the numbers like that.
And of course you can hook into door hooks and refrigerator hooks and anything draws and And pull them open like that.
This design was a little thin, I could thicken it up in a in a CAD program and make it more effective.
I found another one I liked that really has a great ergonomic feel.
It’s this one right here.
And again, it has a little grip.
It’s got a little hole, you could hook it onto a key chain or something like that.
And it’s got a hook here that you could use to open a door.
These are all for those, You know latch style doors with the handles that go down.
I haven’t found one that’s effective for round doorknob handles yet but I’m still looking.
And of course it’s got a little notch at the top, you can use to hook on to stuff and it doesn’t really have as much of a finger pointer as the first model had, so I didn’t like it as much for that.
I actually started messing around in tinkercad designing my own version.
That I thought would mix, strength, size, and features.
This is my first rough draft of it right here.
It’s made basically from hollow hexagon.
So you really have a lot of strength here without using too much material.
Although this this prototype version is very thick and it’s got the door.
The door holder right here you can use to pull open all sorts of doors And it’s, again, very strong.
And it’s got a little pointer, almost like a knuckle.
A kind of knuckle right here and you can use that for pressing buttons and doing things like that.
And then I built in a little hook right here.
If you wanna unplug your phone from somewhere without touching the charger or the The cable, you can just put this down over that cable and pull your phone free.
I still have some refining to do on it.
Frankly, the edges are a little sharp.
I see now why so many of the other ones have rounded edges and mine’s a little more angular, it’s not quite as comfortable to hold on.
But even this big thick gigantic door tool took about an hour and 40 minutes to print on a lower resolution draft setting but still very effective.
So all of these things don’t take terribly long to print.
If you have a 3D printer, you can print one of these little clasps in probably about half an hour.
Same thing, maybe even a little bit less for these little guys.
The facial helmet part probably took about an hour, maybe a little bit more.
So you can you can really turn out a lot of these if you have like some small businesses do a whole lot of printers, 3D printers sitting around five of them Canada if you’re a small shop somewhere and frankly if you’re just an individual.
You can get a fair number of products out during the course of a day if you’re just sitting around at home looking for something helpful to do.
And of course, there are plenty of places online where you can sign up to volunteer and people can either send you requests or you can say I have x number of You know, face mask class available.
Let me know if you need them and I’ll send them to you.
And of course, you could just work with local organizations like my mother does with all of the dozens of cloth face masks she’s been making.
So those are some ways that you can use a 3D printer to make some extra accessories to help keep yourself and everyone else just a little bit safe.