In response to Challenge #2 we have done quite a bit of research into the redesign/substitution of face masks. We have found a number of really incredible examples of people who have done a lot of work on this. Instead of creating a new invention, we feel it is best to share these resources with you.
It is firstly important to note that there is wide debate around the necessity of masks for members of the public. We are not willing to get involved in that debate and have put some information below that you can read instead. That said, if you feel more comfortable wearing a mask–who is anyone to judge.
There is, however, an issue with mask supplies running low, especially in hospitals. Because of this, we are sharing resources and studies from other people who have created sewing patterns, 3D models and conducted material research to find out the best masks to make. You can find these in the links below.
If you don’t fancy doing the reading, here are some images that summarise the research:
In the above image it is clear that Vacuum Cleaner bags have the highest success rate when blocking particles 5x smaller than the coronavirus. However, they are incredibly hard to breathe through. Therefore, for a balance between breathability and protection, dish towels and a blend of t-shirts and pillow cases are deemed the most effective materials to use. That said, they are 30% less effective than surgical masks but 50% more effective than wearing no masks at all.
There are many sewing patterns online and we have provided links to them below so you can make your very own mask using these materials. We will try to make one over the coming days, but we are currently missing a cable for our sewing machine!
There are Facebook groups and campaigns, also listed in the links, asking people to start making masks to help some hospitals. So if you have some time, a sewing machine or a 3D printer then you can respond to their calls. If you are not close to a hospital in need and you want to start wearing a mask, you can make your own and alleviate the pressure on the mask suppliers. Perhaps you could even customise them and make a fashion statement…
General information about masks:
How effective are different masks:
Can masks protect people from the Coronavirus?
DIY masks and Coronavirus protection:
Resources to make your own masks:
The best materials for making DIY masks:
If you want to help:
People are asking for masks here (USA):
There is a call for Open Source COVID-19 medical supplies here:
Efforts from other inventors:
Italian Engineers 3D print Respirator Parts
Hospital Workers Make Masks From Office Supplies: