3D Printing to Help with the Coronavirus Pandemic

We here at 3D Universe have been part of the e-NABLE volunteer community since the beginning. We have thousands of volunteers around the world with 3D printing capabilities, using that technology to help others. Historically, this has mainly been in the form of free prosthetic devices, but now we have a big opportunity to help with the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting shortage of medical supplies.

We are working hard to explore options and figure out how our 3D printing community can best help people in need. If you have a 3D printer and are interested in helping out, please join our discussion on the e-NABLE Hub, here. Another useful resource is the Open-Source COVID19 Medical Supplies Group on Facebook.

If you have a 3D printer and want to help out, there are two areas we recommend focusing on – face shields and respirator masks.

Face Shields

Budmen Industries and IC3D have created a design for a 3D printable face shield which is now NIH approved. You can find the files here. They have also partnered with PaperGala to provide a source for pre-cut and pre-hold-punched plastic sheets for these shields. You can order these in packs of 10 from here. Use discount code COVID19HEROS for a 20% discount.

There are many hospitals in desperate need of protective gear like this, so please help us to produce as many of these as possible.

Respirator Masks

3D Universe founder, Jeremy Simon, has been working closely with a very talented group of individuals based out of University at Buffalo in New York. The group includes medical professionals, engineers, materials experts, compliance folks, and others. Together, they’ve come up with an improved version of the popular Montana Mask design that offers some nice improvements.

The BECMv1 (Buffalo/e-NABLE Crisis Mask) is a derivative work focused on design changes to improve fit for a variety of individuals and to improve sealing of the mask and face (i.e. minimize leakage). Effort to date has focused on identifying materials and sizes.

Please see the following video for an overview:

STL files for this design can be downloaded from these sites:

Instructional documentation and links to assembly material sources can be found here.


We’re offering discounts on 3D printer filament for anyone interested in printing face shields or respirator masks for donation. Email us at info@3duniverse.org for details.


Stay tuned to this blog page for further updates…


Consider making a donation to help those who are 3D printing protective gear for donation. 3D Universe has already sent free filaments to dozens of groups working on producing and donating protective equipment for our medical workers. Your donation will help us to support more of those groups and individuals.

21 Comments

  1. A suggestion for the seal around the outer edge, I was looking at this and realized that a good seal would be essential and allow for flexibility in fitting different face sizes. then remembered that Trim-Lok makes a neoprene edge trim for metal sheets. This may be the answer to the fit and comfort issue.
    Here is a link on Amazon for it. https://www.amazon.com/Trim-Lok-Rubber-Edge-Trim-Push/dp/B00NL49008/ref=pd_ybh_a_7?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=SMPVD9CWXQB4NEJ55CQN

    • Yes, we’ve tested a variety of soft linings. It’s tricky, because we need to make sure it stays on well, but it also needs to be able to be removed easily for cleaning the mask. We are exploring the possibility of injection molding the masks with a flexible gasket lining built into the mask itself. Keep an eye on bemask.org for updates.

  2. Great work. Wish I had a printer. Seems like the Velcro is fine as it can be sterilized in a small container full of alcohol along with the mask. The alcohol should be reused – all resources will be precious. Care needs to be exercised not to overly contaminate the alcohol by using tongs or other such tool for retrieving the mask from a soak. Having several masks and rotating their use while one dries will allow continuous protection.

  3. Hello this a really cool approach!

    I would like to provide videos in German for people in Germany. In Munich we are already in quarantine and everybody is running out of supplies.

    Is it somehow protected and will i have issues to do it or is it for everybody due to virus outbreak?

    For everybody who needs 3D printing capacity for medical supplies, please message me!
    Will do my best to provide it!

    Best
    Georgy
    gtoskar@xometry.de

    • We’re using 15% infill with the Cross 3D infill pattern. But there isn’t much infill in the mask, except around the part where the filter goes.

  4. When I look at the N95 mask design, there is a soft pad around the nose. This foam maybe available at Michaels and online. I seems that a slot on the mask to incorporate a soft elastomer would help in forming the seal. There are orthopedic foams that are designed for skin contact. As well, the filter material. An oxidized copper fabric placed several times before and after a filter pad may help. Is there anyone making a filter where oxidized copper can be meshed into it ?

    • Yes, we’ve experimented with various types of padded linings. It’s tricky, as we need to balance out several factors – ease of production, good adhesion for the foam lining, ability to remove the lining for easy cleaning, etc. We have not done any testing with filters containing oxidized copper.

  5. If we have the capability to extrude our own PLA, is there any info about what additives are used by Copper3D to make it antibacterial/antiviral?

  6. If the N95 mask is in short supply but available at location X, would it not be beneficial to use an N95 mask for the circular filter(s)? Just looking at my (6 month old) 3M N95 “industrial” mask, 3-4 44mm disks could be cut from it. It appears an N95 surgical mask may yield 5-6 disks.

  7. Totally agree that for those who have printers, it’s great to be moving forward with printing. I don’t currently have one and have been thinking about buying one in order to help out. I do wonder – should there be more of a focus on getting printers and filament directly in the hands of hospitals, so that as solutions get better they’re able to immediately have the best products in hand? I’m sure that they’re all hands on deck and don’t have a lot of manpower to spare, but having these in their hands would eliminate lag time.

  8. Since the copper3D filament is in short supply I was thinking if its possible to add an antimicrobial coating to regular pla to provide similar results to that of copper3d pla. I fond this company
    https://www.activacoating.com/products/photo-activa-tb/
    I was wondering if anyone here has or had experience with this coating. Based off the SDS it does not pose any health issues with direct contact to the face and respiratory but this could be an option is someone is using regular pla

2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. The e-NABLE Community Rallies to Fight COVID-19 – Enabling The Future
  2. Global e-NABLE Chapters Delivering Medical Supplies During COVID-19 Pandemic – Enabling The Future

Comments are closed.