Spectrum News: UC students create 3D-printed face masks

UC professor Sam Anand's students respond to shortage of COVID-19 personal protective equipment

Spectrum News 1 talked to University of Cincinnati students about the phone app they are developing that will convert a selfie into a custom 3D-printed face mask to protect them during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Students in UC College of Engineering and Applied Science professor Sam Anand's lab responded to a national shortage of personal protective equipment by designing their own custom face masks that can be printed on any 3D printer. A filter snaps on the front of the form-fitting mask, ensuring a leak-proof seal, particularly around the cheeks and nose where air sometimes can escape from cloth masks.

Even most surgical masks do not provide a custom fit, engineering student Haozhi "John" Zhang told Spectrum News.

Engineering student Shriya Patil, who worked on the mask design in UC's Siemens Simulation Technology Center directed by Anand. Once the smart phone app is ready, Anand will post it for free public use on the center's website.

Patil said some masks tend to slip down your face as you talk, but that doesn't happen with their custom face masks.

"If I laugh, it's not like there is air leaking around my face," she said. "It's made by you, meant for you and only for you."

Watch the Spectrum News 1 story.

Colorful plastic face masks sit on a table.

UC students refined their face-mask design over various iterations. Photo/Ravenna Rutledge/UC Creative + Brand