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3D Printed Mask Fitter to Fight the COVID-19 Pandemic

As we progress towards a vulnerable world where chaos has become a part of life, Coronavirus is just making things worse. However, technological advancements do know how to get the breakthrough.

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For instance, 3D printing has given us better equipment and tools to fight back. And, recently designed 3D printed mask fitter is just another example.

In partnership with Bellus3D, R&D Technologies has come up with this unique idea of avoiding contact with the COVID-19 virus by better-fitted custom masks.

These custom-made fitters could exponentially enhance the safety of individuals against this devastating pandemic.

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There are many examples of masks that we have already come across which have been made using 3D printers. However, this one isn’t a proper mask, but something to tighten the grip of the already available masks.

The idea is to carefully shield the spaces that are left even after wearing the usual face masks. This would go along with the standard cloth face masks. There was a recent remark made by the American Chemical Society (ACS).

The researchers at ACS clarifies the damage that a 1% gap in the usual face cloth masks could bring. It affects that filtering efficiency by half or more. Hence, further calling for establishing a better solution for helping reduce that gap.

Introduction

The emergency for the need for increased safety against coronavirus is the least to say. There has been so much happening and we are all waiting for the ultimate resolution.

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Scientists and researchers are trying to find a suitable remedy in terms of medication and vaccination to curb the spread of this virus. But the bitter truth is that there is a long journey that we still need to fight and it lies ahead of us.

However, with better safety hacks, we can limit the damage that the virus is capable of accomplishing. And, 3D printed mask fitter is an answer to the same concern.

As we know that there is little, we can do to help doctors find the cure for the problem, we can still contribute by keeping ourselves and our family safe. The lesser the spread of the virus, the faster we would reach to its extinction.

With the collective support of the R&D and Bellus3D, now we can order an extra fitter to shield the cloth mask properly around our mouth and nose.

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Although there have been no tests performed to check the effectiveness of this hack, it does seem to be an extra layer of safety adding to the safety routine we are already following.

So, next time, when you have the urge to question what else you could do to safeguard your family, explore the various benefits of the 3D printed mask fitters.

These do seem a thoughtful explanation of the safety concerns raised by the researchers at ACS. And, what’s the harm in adding one more layer of security?

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What is a 3D Printed Mask Fitter?

3D printed mask fitter is a custom-made enhancement for your existing cloth mask. It is designed uniquely considering the difference in the facial structure of each individual.

This fits right around the mouth and nose. This offers a tight seal around the nose and mouth to lessen the chance of any gap left after wearing the cloth face mask.

Further, enhancing the air seal around the designated area. Hence, enabling better protection against the nosy virus.

The face mask is more of a plastic frame that sits around the nose and mouth, further sealing the cloth mask for better protection. You can also use it around the surgical face masks too.

Loma Linda University School of Dentistry tried the mask fitter to check its effectiveness and come up with some interesting facts.

The LLU team tested the fitters which include the staff members, faculties, and other members of the school. The team provided helpful feedback to Bellus3D helping them to come up with the best possible solution.

The team at LLU school did deem that the 3D printed fitter designed after scanning the face through the Bellus 3DTM scan does increase the peripheral seal of a Level 1-3 mask when worn outside of these masks.

3D printed mask fitter turns out to be an added security measure over the ones that we are already following. And, one can easily get it printed through online orders.

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How Does the 3D Printed Mask Fitter Work?

The first step to get the mask is to scan the individual’s facial structure. Bellus3D has come up with this new app, a face-scanning app.

Bellus3D App

The app is compatible with iPhone 11, iPhone X series, as well as iPad Pro. These smartphones accomplish the face-scanning task with the help of FaceID capability. You can easily download the app from the App store. And, it does not cost any download fee.

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Steps to Scan the Face

As mentioned before, you first need to download and install the Bellus3D FaceApp. However, the app is only available with the iPhone and with few limited iOS versions.

The app requires an iPhone which has the TrueDepth camera capabilities. Hence, you can install the app on the iPhone X series (X, Xs, Xs Max, XR) and iPhone 11 series, (11, 11 Pro, or 11 Pro Max).

Once the app is installed, you need to find a place where you can sit idle to scan the face without any error or deviation. You can also do it while standing. Just remember, the moto is to stay still and have enough space to turn your face to 90 degrees, both sides.

In case you use glasses, please remove it. You must not be wearing anything on your face when scanning using the Bellus3D app.

Later, open the FaceApp application. You will find a Face option, please select that.

After you position the phone right in front of your face, you will find the red oval covering around your face. If it is red, you must adjust the distance of the phone, checking for both closer and farther positions until the circle turns green.

When you see the green signal, you can go ahead and press the scan button. This is a white button situated at the bottom of the screen, more like the photo or video button which you have in your camera app.

While the scanning is progressing, keep still, and do not smile or pose any expressions. Your face must be neutral during the scanning process.

In between of the scan, the app would prompt for turning to 90 degrees to the left and back to the front. Again, it would ask to turn 90 degrees to the right, then turning back to the middle. You must follow the instruction as asked for.

During the scan, do not forget to keep your body still while only moving your head from right and left, when asked for. FaceApp will then connect all the poses and perspectives to create the 3D model.

In the bottom right corner, you will find the “Mask Fitter” button. Press the same for generating the fitter model. This would generate the.STL file of the design. To export this file to your computer, you can just choose the export button and choose to send the file as an email attachment.

Later, open the email on your computer and save the attachment.STL file extension. And, you can actually print the 3D mask fitter if you have a 3D printer at home.

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What if I Do Not Have a 3D Printer?

Bellus3D face mask

No worries! If you do not have a 3D printer at home, you can order it from R&D Technologies eStore. You can visit this online store and upload your fitter’s 3D model. Pay for the same and choose the material and quantity of mask fitter you need.

The company also offers discounts on mass orders. You must connect with the team over the phone to ask for discounts and offers.

If you need your order on an urgent basis, and ordering in huge quantity, keep the colors of the masks fitter same. Otherwise, the order may delay for a long.

And, as of now, what’s more, important is to find the solution as soon as possible. Instead of, browsing through colors and concentrating on looks which do not matter at all.

So, keep your focus in the right direction and order the 3D Printed mask fitter for yourself as well as for your entire family.

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Who Needs a Face Mask Fitter?

Who doesn’t? If you are wondering if you even need a mask fitter or not, it is time to concentrate on the need of this hour.

  • Those who work for the essential services such as doctors, nurses, and many others who come in direct contact with those affected with COVID-19 definitely need to give this solution a thought. If you do not have a proper face mask with the highest security against Coronavirus pandemic, such as N95, you must get the extra shield of protection.
  • If you are traveling to places with many people around, you must protect yourself from the spread of the virus. Your cloth or usual face mask won’t be very capable of securing from all the sides. The gaps you also feel could lead a way for the coronavirus infection. So, you can opt to cover your mouth and nose properly with a 3D printed mask fitter.
  • Do you have someone house arrest with Coronavirus at home? You must need some extra protection. So, why not get the mask fitter?
  • Not having an N95 mask, or similar ones, and depending on surgical masks that cannot guarantee proper protection, you do need a fitter to tighten the grip of the usual mask around your mount and nose. If you are going outside, you need to consider buying this enhancement.
  • Even if you have a proper mask, you must keep these fitters for emergency use. What if, you lose the N95 mask and have to turn to a Level 1-3 mask. You would be needing an extra caution thereafter. And, the fact that the high demand for N95 masks has resulted in a shortage of these essential tools, you need to think beyond.

3D printed mask fitters are new and have not been effectively tested for its efficiency against COVID 19, it may seem a dubious option. However, you need to start from somewhere, and we all do.

The best part is that the fitter does not come in direct contact with the skin. Hence, there isn’t much harm that is expected out of it. Plus, you have the option to choose the material that is safer for the printing of these fitters.

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Pros and Cons of Fitters

Let’s find out what we must expect with these 3D printed mask fitters.

PROS:
  • It is custom made. Hence, can be designed as per the need for an individual’s facial structure.
  • The fitter provides extra safety against the gap left with the usual cloth mask.
  • It enhances the protection against COVID-19
  • One can easily create the 3D file for the fitter using a simple app
  • The orders can be placed online without needing to visit the store for scanning or payment

CONS:
  • The scanning app is only compatible with few latest versions of the iPhone with TrueDepth camera availability
  • This app cannot be downloaded on an Android phone.
  • There are not enough tests done to prove its efficiency yet

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The Conclusion

We always worry about the protection of our friends and family. And, with the introduction of Coronavirus, our worries have just exponentially surged.

In this time, when all we care about is getting a proper shield against this stubborn virus, any extra hack or tool is very much welcomed.

With the 3D printed mask fitter design, we still have a long path to cover, but it may help make the journey a bit less difficult.

As long as, everyone tries to protect themselves and those around them, could contribute to the entire cause indirectly. So, pick your fitter and strengthen the war against this COVID 19 pandemic.

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