3D printing firm creates face mask with reusable frame

Following completion of the design, Essentium is now in the production stage for a protective mask kit to help with the coronavirus pandemic.

The mask kit comprises of a reusable 3D printed mask frame and filtration media.

Essentium’s reusable mask frame is made with material known as Essentium TPU74D (thermoplastic urethane) which is compatible with single-use, replaceable filtration media, and designed for easy cleaning.

The first run of 500 masks will be delivered to the Pflugerville Police and Fire Department next week following an order from the city of Pflugerville’s Pflugerville Community Development. This delivery follows the thirty pilot units which were delivered previously. As Essentium redirects resources to the production of this Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), the company anticipates initial production capacity to be 5,000 units per week. 

Blake Teipel, CEO and co-founder of Essentium, commented: “The concept of a first responder changed overnight for our nation. As well as our medical, police and emergency services, there is now an extended family of first responders such as grocery store workers, delivery personnel and refuse collectors who have stepped up to keep us safe in our homes. I am humbled by their dedication.

“While Essentium cannot be a first responder, we can be a second-tier responder. Where the supply chain for PPE is faltering, we can and we have stepped in; and we can do it with speed, to approved design that can be delivered with reliable and repeatable quality, at scale.”

The mask which has been created for general non-medical use during the Covid-19 pandemic is based on FDA Emergency Use Authorisation, and the design is freely available through the National Institute of Health (NIH) open source model. 

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