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A US Creative Director Has Helped Launch a Free, 3D Printable Face Mask 

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Tito Melega worked with an international team to bring to life A Mask For All, which can be printed from all types of 3D printers

A US Creative Director Has Helped Launch a Free, 3D Printable Face Mask 

Three weeks ago Tito Melega, a freelance creative lead and former global chief creative officer at GTB, saw that his friend Musa Tariq, the global head of marketing at Airbnb Experiences, had put an open invite to a ZOOM meeting on Twitter. The experience turned out to be a fruitful one so he decided to continue organising them as and when he had the time. 

Fast forward some days and Tito finally had the time to join one of Musa’s calls. On the call, which Tito tells us was mostly full of strangers, he met Amine Arezki, a producer designer and chief autonomy officer in Germany. Amine mentioned in passing that he had been thinking about a 3D printable mask to help with flattening the curve of Covid-19, and it struck a chord with Tito right away. “ I‌ ‌knew‌ ‌exactly‌ ‌what‌ ‌I‌ ‌wanted‌ ‌to‌ ‌do,” he says. “I ‌hoped‌ ‌I‌ ‌had‌ ‌found‌ ‌a‌ ‌way‌ ‌to‌ ‌help‌ ‌flatten‌ ‌the‌ ‌curve.‌”

Tito reached out to Amine outside of the ZOOM meeting, introducing him to Justin Nussbaum, the founder and CEO of Ascend Manufacturing and inventor of a novel 3D printing technology. Around one week later the trio had devised a mask that could be 3D printed from any 3D printer, whether it’s home or industrial quality. The masks are cleanable, reusable and 100% free to download. 

Due to the complicated requirements for a mask to be certified by the ‌National‌ ‌Institute‌ ‌for‌ ‌Occupational‌ ‌Safety‌ ‌and‌ ‌Health), the masks are aimed at people like you and I, who were likely advised initially not to wear or purchase masks, instead of frontline health workers. “This‌ ‌may‌ ‌explain‌ ‌why‌ ‌most‌ ‌companies‌ ‌and‌ ‌individuals‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌open-source‌ ‌community‌ ‌have‌ ‌opted‌ ‌for‌ ‌making‌ ‌face‌ ‌'shields’,” Tito says. “We‌ ‌thought,‌ ‌’let’s‌ ‌get‌ ‌together‌ ‌and‌ ‌design‌ ‌the‌ ‌most‌ ‌robust,‌ ‌scaleable,‌ ‌durable,‌ ‌cleanable‌ ‌and‌ ‌re-usable‌ ‌mask‌ ‌that‌ ‌we‌ ‌can’.‌”

The swift concept and creation process was somewhat in thanks to the fact that Tito, Justin and Amine all sat in different parts of the world. Amine is in Germany while Tito sits on the USA’s west coast in LA and Justin is further east in Knoxville, Tennessee. They would all chat at 9am PST each day, then Justin and Tito would get to see Amine’s work from that day and be able to comment on it. Then Justin could get to work in Knoxville printing the design and pressure-testing it for any flaws, etc. 

“Essentially,‌ ‌as‌ ‌a‌ ‌team,‌ ‌we‌ ‌ended‌ ‌up‌ ‌working‌ ‌around‌ ‌the‌ ‌clock,” Tito says. ‌”This‌ ‌made‌ ‌it‌ ‌possible‌ ‌for‌ ‌us‌ ‌to‌ ‌have‌ ‌a‌ ‌viable‌ ‌design‌ ‌we‌ ‌felt‌ ‌good‌ ‌about‌ ‌within‌ ‌days,‌ ‌and‌ ‌that‌ ‌we‌ ‌could‌ ‌share‌ ‌with‌ ‌the‌ ‌open-source‌ ‌community‌ ‌in‌ ‌hopes‌ ‌of‌ ‌starting‌ ‌conversations‌ ‌with‌ ‌people‌ ‌who‌ ‌could‌ ‌help‌ ‌improve‌ ‌it.‌ ‌

“Over‌ ‌the‌ ‌course‌ ‌of‌ ‌a‌ ‌week,‌ ‌prototypes‌ ‌in‌ ‌many‌ ‌different‌ ‌filaments‌ ‌were‌ ‌printed,‌ ‌studied,‌ ‌and‌ ‌evolved.‌ ‌We‌ ‌made‌ ‌it‌ ‌flexible‌ ‌enough‌ ‌for‌ ‌people‌ ‌to‌ ‌use‌ ‌everything‌ ‌from‌ ‌t-shirts‌ ‌to‌ ‌tissues‌ ‌as‌ ‌the‌ ‌filter,‌ ‌scalable‌ ‌to‌ ‌solve‌ ‌for‌ ‌different‌ ‌face‌ ‌sizes,‌ ‌and,‌ ‌of‌ ‌course,‌ ‌100%‌ ‌FREE‌ ‌for‌ ‌whoever‌ ‌could‌ ‌use‌ ‌it.‌”

Learn more about and download A Mask for All here.

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LBB Editorial, Thu, 16 Apr 2020 14:03:56 GMT