University of Southern California


Information about 3D-Printed Face Masks & Shields

Last Updated: April 16, 2020

Disclaimer: Many designs coming from the open source community are mislabeled as “N95” or “respirator” without meeting such criteria. We are not aware of any open source designs that meet the standards of an N95. Makers should not attempt to make these types of devices but instead focus on masks for community use — individuals, grocery stores, food services, prisons, etc. — or PPE with lower risk.

Wet Designs Face Shields

Mark Fuller, who designs fountains like the ones at the Bellagio in Las Vegas and ones in London and Dubai, has decided that with the pandemic, he would change his company’s focus to PPE. Wet Design now makes over 50,000 face shield a day with no fog or foam around the head that can be contaminated for healthcare personnel. Contact him at (818) 769-6200.

PPE Help

Viterbi is collecting names and contact information of individuals in the greater Los Angeles region who are seeking PPE, have a 3D printer or laser cutter, can supply materials to create PPE or want to volunteer. Learn more at PPE Help.

L.A. Area Chamber Supplier Matching

The L.A. Area Chamber wants to do their part to connect those that need supplies with manufacturers that may be able to fulfill those needs. Visit their new supplier matching web page for a list of current opportunities. You’ll be able to fill out and submit a short form describing your need or the products your company can manufacture.

Tips for Engineers and Makers

A coalition of 14 makerspaces, hospitals, and unions has organized to create and distribute face shields and other protective equipment to frontline nurses and doctors coping with a wave of COVID-19 cases in New York City. And they have some tips for other engineers and makers itching to put their skills and facilities to use.

Donations of PPE

USC’s Department of Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) and the Office of Research are reaching out to invite you to donate personal protective equipment (PPE) to support continued health care delivery at our Keck Hospital and other local healthcare organizations, first responders, Department of Public Safety, and critical clinical USC COVID-19 research activities. Learn more in the memo Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs).

To donate PPEs specifically to the Keck School of Medicine and its healthcare workers: On USC’s Coronavirus FAQ website,, they link to the items requested here or you can contract them via email for more information.

Iovine and Young Academy, Dornsife and Viterbi

Viterbi in collaboration with USC Keck Medical Center and SMP Engineering have designed and uploaded a 3D printed faceshield to the NIH 3D printing portal for accelerated design evaluation. USC Iovine and Young Academy, USC School of Architecture, and SMP Engineering have started making them. Contact: Andrea Armani (Viterbi), Dr. She, Dept of Pathology (Keck), and SMP Engineering.

There is a need for a UV-C disinfection system that can be rapidly deployed. In response to this demand, a UV-C disinfection system has been designed, constructed, and validated from readily accessible components; specifically, a plastic bin, UV-C light bulb and conventional light housing. To further improve the performance, the interior of the tub was spray-painted with chrome paint, forming a low quality-factor (Q) fabry-perot optical cavity. As part of this work, a set of modular design criteria which allows for flexibility in component selection without degradation of UV-C dose performance is established. This flexibility is critical given the current fluctuating availability of source materials. The disinfection capabilities of the system are validated using Bacillus cereus, a gram-positive endospore-forming bacteria. Contact: Andrea Armani (Viterbi), Dr. She, Dept of Pathology (Keck), and SMP Engineering.

Customized accessories for personal protective device (PPE): Discomfort of wearing PPE, and even severe problems such as mask bruises, have already been reported since the COVID-19 outbreak. Customized designs that can make the PPE-wearing experience more comfortable for doctors and nurses are desired. We are designing customized accessories for PPEs to achieve the customized fit to a user and developing the related software system to automatically generate the 3D-printable digital models for the input 3D scanning data of users. Contact: Yong Chen (Viterbi).

Iovine and Young Academy, Dornsife and Viterbi are stepping up to help the Keck Medical System with their face shield shortage. Two maker space teams below are working with Keck to ensure a coordinated approach.

From Iovine and Young Academy: Trent Jones; Jacob Patapoff; Tucker Rae-Grant
From Dornsife/Viterbi: Seth Wieman; Donald R. Wiggins

Please see below the summary of work being done at the Dornsife/Viterbi Machine shop toward producing face shields:

Building the shields according to two designs that were approved by the Czech Health Ministry and posted by the PRUSA 3-D printer company. The design includes a 3-D printed piece that straps on to your head with an elastic band and holds a clear film window over your face.

Caveat: The Prusa design has these issues:  the plastic shield is not cleanable, there is a large air gap between the forehead and the shield where particulates can go, the shield doesn’t fully cover the sides of the face if a standard transparency is used, and the holes in the headband provide additional routes of particulate transport to the face.

For now, making the 3-D printed piece out of carbon fiber-filled nylon. PET filament (the material specified in the PRUSA posting) is on order. There is a requirement that after manufacture the shields remain sealed in plastic for 2-3 days so that in the event the shields are infected with COVID-19 by the manufacturer there is time for the virus to die off.

Currently working on sourcing the elastic straps and will look into other alternatives (perhaps making them from rubber sheet or bands). Printing and assembly is being done in the shop (KAP basement room B-1B) inspection room, which is cordoned off and are not allowing entry without surgical masks, rubber gloves and safety glasses.

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