Fighting Covid-19

Fighting Covid-19: 3D printing masks/respirators

This page will share our current efforts to fight Covid-19, the coronavirus.

Led by Drs. Gul Kremer, Shan Jiang, and myself, we are looking at manufacturing masks for local/national hospitals to address the shortage in masks/respirators. We are having ideas but also encountering challenges. How can 3D printing help in the supply of medical masks? We share our knowledge and results promptly and selflessly, so that everyone who wants to flight Covid-19 and support local communities, can learn from our experiences.

March 19-23, Updates:

After receiving a help request from a local clinic facing a shortage of mask supplies, we investigated if the reported 3D printing CAD models actually work or not. The following model was printed and tested:

Copper3D organizing global campaign to 3D print antimicrobial masks on a global scale

The possible materials that can be used: PC-ISO, ULTEM 1010, ASA, ABS-M30i, Surgical Guide Resin, Dental LT Clear

However, this design has major issues that (1) the sealing is not good enough in contact areas with human face; (2) long printing time; (3) difficulty in temperature-based sterilization; (4) filter material challenge.

A more realistic plan (20-min to make + certain fabrics) is here, we are also looking for fabric options now.

We are looking for alternative solutions, either to resolve the sealing problem or find out new ways to make mass production masks. We are looking at injection molding of mask gaskets now.

Resources regarding FDA, CDC, and NIOSH regulations & our most updated work plan can be find here:

We are also talking with the university attorney office to figure out liability challenges associated with this work.

Contact Information

Dr. Hantang Qin

Department of Industrial & Manufacturing Systems Engineering
3019 Black Engineering Building
College of Engineering

Center for Nondestructive Evaluation
215A ASC II, 1915 Scholl Road

Iowa State University
Ames, IA 50011

Phone: (515) 294-1248

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