As of March 31, 2020 we are no longer printing our original mask (at the bottom of this page).
The masks we’ve already made WILL go to use in local facilities. See our Project Update for details.
Looking for more information? Please read our FAQs on this page.
By using any of the information on this page to create Personal Protective Equipment, you agree to the terms of the Lowell Makes PPE Waiver.
Original Lowell Makes Mask Design – NO LONGER IN PRODUCTION AS OF MARCH 31, 2020
Until March 31, 2020 Lowell Makes was 3D-printing this mask. This design was posted by lafactoria3d on March 16, 2020; they are not affiliated with Lowell Makes and we don’t have the original files. If Thingiverse isn’t loading, we have posted the files on DropBox and Google Drive.
We printed the pieces (2 sets per bed on Prusa’s) at .3 layer height and 5% infill.
PLA or PETG is fine. No ABS. The instructions say to use both PLA and PETG, but using one or the other for the entire print is fine.
Optional: You can add these 3D-printed elastic clips to adjust the elastic band. If you are giving masks to a local hospital, check if they will accept adjustable straps (some will not)
For sealing the edges, we are using weatherstripping foam (available at places like Ace Hardware, Home Depot, Lowes). We have found that self-stick weatherseal, 3/4″ wide x 5/16″ thick, works best. To adhere, hot glue the sticky side of the foam to the edge of the mask, taking care to get the foam completely into the bridge of the nose.
We are using 1/4″ wide elastic straps from a craft supply store.
At this time, Lowell Makes is not providing any filters with our masks. The organization receiving masks is responsible for determining and sourcing their own filter material.
We are collaborating with other teams on research and have conducted several tests with local hospitals for the best filter materials. Here is a summary of what we’ve learned so far about filter options:
- We were originally looking at using clean-room vacuum bags and/or MERV-13 filters. We found that vacuum bags perform better than the MERV-13s, but they tear easily and are harder to source.
- We also ordered some MERV-16, but when they arrived we immediately suspected they contained fiberglass, and our scanning electron microscope confirmed that. This was never tested in a mask. If you can find non-fiberglass MERV-16, it may perform well. Do not use any material containing fiberglass for your filter.
- We have heard from another team at UF using a similar mask design that they had success in a fit test using surgical wrap.
- Other options we’d like to try are
- (1) a cut-up N95 mask (so you could potentially get 3-4 filters from one single-use mask)
- (2) non–woven polypropylene, which is used to make reusable grocery bags. We looked at the polypropylene under our scanning electron microscope and it looks very promising. We have not conducted a fit test yet.
We are wiping all masks down with a bleach solution before delivering to healthcare facilities, where they will be professionally sanitized before use.
Note that rubbing alcohol will un-stick hot glue.
In this video, one of our members assembles a mask and narrates the process.
Images of supplies: