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.
Help with Personal Protective Equipment for Staff and Patients
One of the challenges health care providers are experiencing across the nation is a shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including masks. These devices are essential to keeping our staff, our patients and our communities safe.
Montana 3D Mask
To bolster the limited supply of PPE masks, Billings Clinic Neurosurgeon, Dusty Richardson, MD, in collaboration with Billings-area dentist Spencer Zaugg, DDS and his son Colton, have tapped into their ingenuity to create durable, reusable plastic masks using 3D printer technology.
Our next effort is to activate every 3D printer in our community to produce these masks. Billings Public Schools, Rocky Mountain College, and Montana State University-Billings have all offered to help. We are asking others in our community with access to 3D printers and related supplies to assist in this effort.
Financial support is needed to fund this effort. The Billings Clinic Foundation invites you to support the production of these masks and other needs by contributing to our Innovation Fund. Donations can be made online or by contacting Amberly Pahut at firstname.lastname@example.org or (406)657-4679.
To assist the health care community locally and nation-wide with similar efforts, information on the mask design, including specifications for this particular mask design is posted online on the makethemasks.com website. 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).
*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.