3D Printing and COVID-19, April 28, 2020 Update

28 Apr, 2020

A German firm called LMD Innovation GmbH is 3D printing protective face masks using LUVOSINT TPU from the LEHVOSS Group that meets Europe’s FFP2 and FFP3 filtering standards. FFP2 and FFP3 ratings designate masks that filter at least 94 and 99 percent of particulates, respectively, which can be compared to N95 and N99 standards representing filtration of 95 percent and 99 percent of particulates in the U.S. LMD’s 3D-printed masks fit tightly to the face, as required, and filters can be swapped out. Most interestingly, the masks can be cleaned in the dishwasher. Like WASP’s 3D-printed face mask, these can be tailored to a user’s face using a smartphone app. Unlike WASP’s mask, this device has been certified by the FDA, with the laser sintered TPU capable of meeting the necessary requirements. Once a user’s face is scanned, LMD manufactures the mask to fit.

In South Africa, everyone’s favorite large-scale 3D printer manufacturer, Hans Fouche, has turned the attention of his business, Fouche 3D Printing, to manufacture face shields. After working with a local medical company, the company has teamed with a community-focused maker company called contact Railways Cafe to ramp up face shield production to 500 shields a day, with Fouche’s three Cheetah 3D printers making the brackets and then Railways assembling the complete shields. In total, the partners have manufactured about 4,500 shields that have gone to various institutions in the region. South African 3D printer users are asked to join the 3D Printing South Africa Facebook group to lend their support.