Looking ahead – Life after Covid-19

While it’s still early and we’re still supposedly expecting a second wave of the virus, it dawned on me the other night as I sat here sanding on one of the 3D Printed Covid-19 masks I made that there will be a lot of good things to come from this.

History has shown that some of the darkest times has produced some of the greatest advances in medicine, technology, arts, and many other fields. I see this as another such opportunity and the collaboration of people with 3D printers helping to level the curve by printing parts for masks, face shields, respirators, etc. as one such area.

So back to the 3D printed Covid-19 mask I’m working on. What will happen to it and other such models after the virus is a things of the past?

For me I plan to use this mask in the workshop. With the interchangeable filter media and the ability to reprint the mask as I see fit, it’s a no brainer. The cost for the mask is about $4.25 in PLA which is about one fifth the cost of a mask at Harbor Fright for a comparable mask. And if the media used is good enough for filtering out a virus, then it is more than adequate for a simple dust mask in the shop.

The same can be said for the face shields being made now. Just because the virus goes away, doesn’t mean we can’t use these free models to print our own products to use in our shops.

Just a quick late night thought about the state of things and what will come of things in the future once this pandemic subsides.

So here’s a few pics of the mask I’m working on presently. It took me about 12 hours to print and features a simple screw in vent and is sized for a makeup pad to be placed in it. While this application would be adequate for dust, a better filter material would be required for it to be a viable solution for filtering out micro-organisms.

I like how this design has the air channels facing back towards the person wearing the mask. You can see this as the 5 lines on front of the mask. The intake is actually on the backside of this cap so air being brought is in theory from “your” space. When applied as a dust filter, it will mean that less dust will accumulate directly on the filter which should extend the life of the filtration media. So clever design there.

Here’s a link to this free model on Thingiverse:

Covid Mask Respirator – 3D Printable COVID-19 (Corona virus) by MrDWGraf: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4245757

Thinking of painting it yellow and black with a black biohazard symbol on the front of the cap.

And with that, I am off to get a bit more sleep. Busy day tomorrow as the wife and I both have doctors appointments and I’m hoping I get cleared to return to work.