A Maker Response to the COVID-19 Challenges

A note on safety: We are collaborating with healthcare professionals and other makers to develop open-source personal protective equipment; however, we caution that these items have not been tested or approved for medical use by any relevant authorities. Amherst Makerspace makes no guarantees that these masks will prevent transmission of COVID-19. Please continue to adhere to current CDC guidelines regarding COVID-19 and use open source PPE at your own risk.

Additionally, Amherst Makerspace is not selling PPE. We are donating masks to local healthcare facilities who specifically request equipment. We will accept donations to offset the cost of purchasing supplies and running our operation. The Amherst Rec department has setup a program to donate to the effort https://amherstnh.myrec.com/info/activities/program_details.aspx?ProgramID=29038. Additionally, if you have unused N95 masks at home, please contact your local healthcare facility to make a donation.

Resources for Makers:

What is Amherst Makerspace Doing?

Amherst Makerspace volunteers are currently working on several initiatives to produce PPE (personal protective equipment), including a collaboration with local nursing staff to 3D print protective masks. At this time, all of our 3D printers are being dedicated to this project. If you have a 3D printer and PLA or PETG filament, please join us in printing as many of these masks as you can.

Makers in the Amherst NH area: Amherst Makerspace will provide all non-3D printed components (though we will accept donations of the supplies listed below). Please email makerspace@sau39.org to coordinate dropping-off printed components. Our makerspace is volunteer-run and there is no guarantee that someone will be present to receive masks. Please reach out ahead of time to make arrangements.

Makers outside of Amherst NH: We are amazed by the wide responses we are receiving. If you are NOT in the Amherst area, please do not try to ship us masks. There is no guarantee when they will arrive and the need is urgent nationwide. Please coordinate as much as possible with your local healthcare facilities. Google search for makerspaces in your area if you want to connect with others. We will continue to post project updates and guidelines here.

Mask Design

We are printing this mask:  UpdatedMask.stl covid_mask_grid.stl

Settings: We are printing all the pieces (2 sets per bed on Taz 5/6 1 on each Taz Mini) 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.

Additional supplies:

Assembly: In this video, a member of the Lowell Makers assembles a mask and narrates the process.

Seals: 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.

Filters: The model we are using has an insert for a filter. We are currently using MERV-13 or MERV-16 furnace filters, which will catch 65% and 95% of .3 micron particles respectively. When selecting a filter, you should be looking for filtering out .3 micron or better. N95 refers to filtering out 95% of .3 micron particles, which is what the the MERV-16 is rated for. The HVAC filters can be disassembled to expose the actual pleated filter sheet inside. This can be flattened out and cut as needed.

Straps: We are using 1/4" wide elastic straps from a craft supply store.

Sanitizing masks: We are currently developing this process and will update this section when we have more information.

Images of supplies:




Ear Savers

We are creating Ear Savers using flexable HDPE cutting boards with the shop laser.

Example EarSavers

The design can be downloaded here: https://github.com/bapril/EarSaver

Face Shield Design

We are also printing face shields designed by Budmen Industries

We will post more details as this project progresses.



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