3D Printed Surgical Mask
Billings doctor finds inventive way to help with shortage of medical masks
3D Mask Files
For additional information on how to help Billings Clinic with supplies and printing, please email email@example.com or call (406) 435-MASK (435-6275).
How did the 3D printed surgical mask come about in Billings?
Dr. Dusty Richardson, Billings Clinic neurosurgeon, was driving home from work, listening to a story on the radio about the national shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care workers and thinking about ways he could help. At Billings Clinic, reuse policies have been implemented for surgical masks to help the supply go further. He put his ingenuity to work, got home to his shop and called his friend, Billings-area dentist Spencer Zaugg, DDS and his son Colton, and together they talked through the idea of 3D printing a surgical mask.
Dr. Richardson drew a design on the back of a receipt, took a picture and sent it to them. Colton, who is skilled in writing code and 3D printing, investigated the idea and searched online, finding some other designs for mask alternatives. One design by La Factoria 3D out of Spain (www.thingiverse.com/thing:4225667) was helpful as a starting point but needed some adjustments.
Colton then went to work producing new code inspired by the design available online. After 6 or 7 iterations of the design, which included printing the design, inspecting, learning from it, and adjusting the plans, they finalized their mask, including an improved way to insert a filter, made of medical-grade fabric, securely in place to make it easy to change out between uses.
On the morning of Sunday, March 22, the team had finalized a design to include a 3D printed mask of various sizes to fit different face shapes and a snap-in frame for the filter to fit securely.
The design is available for free on the makethemasks.com website.
*The 3D printed mask information presented here is intended to assist the general public during the current a global pandemic related to COVID-19 and the related nationwide shortage of personal protective equipment. Please be aware that this mask design is not intended to replace standard protective equipment such as N-95 masks or surgical masks when that equipment is available. The use of these 3D printed masks has not been fully tested and has not been approved by federal or state authorities. Billings Clinic, Marlin D. Richardson, M.D., Spencer Zaugg, DDS, and Colton Zaugg make no representations or guarantees regarding the safety, efficacy, or appropriate use of these masks in any particular situation. Use of this information for any purpose is at the maker’s and user’s own risk.