Individual protection mask with improved filtering properties: 3D printed solution guided by design materials selection
The COVID-19 pandemic has mobilized most countries to investigate multiple virus mitigation interventions, the face protection masks are among the main ones. Filtration and breathability are important factors in the applied materials choice. Design plays a fundamental innovative role in developing new products and materials that meet this emergency demand. 3D printing allows adjustments from an industrial production to answer an increasingly specific demand. This process allows the printing of a poly (lactic acid) (PLA) filter mesh with Tourmaline (TM) for a mask made in a triple layer with cotton fabric. One of the properties of TM is the negative ions emission, which allows capturing particles dispersed in the air. PLA is a bio-based and biodegradable polymer, with the corn as it’s most effective source. It makes it a good choice for the project, aiming to be aligned to environmental issues. In addition, the cotton application and the modeling directed to the domestic sewing use make the project accessible to the population, adaptied to digital and personal manufacturing and aligned to the Maker Movement.
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