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Anti-pollution mask

Background

Living in increasingly contaminated cities, people are using protective masks more and more frequently. While there are many styles for adults, there are far fewer designed especially for children, for whom pollution is definitely more harmful. Bartlomiej Gaczorek, a designer in 3D technology, wanted to respond to this need by creating a mask for young children.

Challenge

The mask was supposed to be designed from scratch. This required much more ingenuity than simply rescaling ready-made masks to smaller sizes. The challenge was to create a low-weight mask. It was also important to protect the filters without increasing the volume of the mask, as children are highly mobile and have a tendency to fall. In addition, a colorful finish made the product appealing to children.  Creating such a structure manually would be much more time-consuming (if not impossible), and would almost certainly lead to mistakes that would not be 3D printable.

Solution

The neo-futuristic dust mask for children was created with best children’s interest in mind. The front part resembles a bat and superheroes from fairy tales. The mask is used for respiratory protection during creative activities (painting, polishing or gluing) and for everyday wear in areas with high air pollution. The best tool for creating a fully functional mask was the Sinterit Lisa printer, using SLS technology. This is due to features such as the ability to print permanent, targeted elements that could be treated and painted to create a final product, not just a prototype. In addition, it has the ability to print durable components (PA12 nylon) as well as flexible ones (TPU), making it possible to print both rigid sections of the mask and an anatomically adjustable section for the face.

With very complex projects, it is virtually impossible to avoid design issues and mistakes. However, Autodesk Netfabb analyzes and detects problems, can repair meshes, and can, therefore, shorten the printing time even further. In the case of the “brifo,” Netfabb was used to properly prepare the design before printing. The software created internal lattices to slim-down the design with a complicated, organic structure. The latticing allowed for a lightweight model with no loss of functionality or durability.

Results implemented

Thanks to the relationship between Autodesk Netfabb and Sinterit, the designer was able to create a mask that will protect children from the harmful pollution.

  • A mask that is ideally suited to the size of the child. Thanks to this, the chance of getting harmful pollution into the lungs despite wearing the mask is minimized.
  • The combination of two available materials – PA12 and Flexa Black caused that the mask is both durable and comfortable.

Using Autodesk Netfabb has made it possible to design the mask faster and more effectively. The repairing, hollowing, and lattice infilling algorithms are simply amazing. Where other software fails, the Netfabb Ultimate does the job effortlessly. A solid piece can be hollowed and filled with crystal-like lattice structures and vents for removing unsintered powder can be added in few simple steps. This reduces the final weight and material consumption by 50 per cent as compared to a solid part. It seems Netfabb Ultimate is a perfect match for an SLS printer like Sinterit Lisa.

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