During the beginning of the Covid-19 Pandemic, there was a worldwide shortage of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) for Key workers all over the world. Eventually, there was a huge push for Surgical Masks for everyone that needs one. And having experienced wearing these masks for extended amounts of time I was very aware that they can start to hurt and cut your ears. To counter this I designed a product that moved the latching point of the masks from the back of the user’s ears to the clip that I designed.
Starting off I drew a few initial concepts. Initially developing the ideas and requirements of the product. These are Extremely rough sketches, but as they were for my use only, they did the job. I have also more recently focused on improving my Sketching Skills
From here I started working on building a CAD project, my primary tool for creating CAD files is using Fusion 360 after I switched from Solidworks a few years ago. I discussed my reasons behind switching here.
To create the 3D model I started by creating a sketch based on my original drawings.
The Completed drawing, I then gave the drawing an extrude thickness of 1.2mm, I chose this because I knew I was going to 3D print the final product with a layer height of 0.2mm this means that given a thickness of 1.2mm I can print it with only six layers.
Once I was happy with the main body I realized that I needed to give extra thickness to the notches to make sure that they were able to support the Face Mask elastic.
I re-drew the notches and gave them an additional thickness of 1mm, again sticking to the 0.2mm multiple, meaning that this entire print could be printed with only 11 Layers.
I also added my logo to both sides of the mask holder for recognition.
After I was happy with my Model I exported the file as a .STL file and imported it into my chosen Slicer after some experimentation I found I could fit 5 models per print, I then selected my tuned TPU profile and sliced the model into G-Code that I then used to start the print. It took around an hour to print 5 holders. Meaning I was able to produce around 120 products a day.
I also turned this project into a video seen here:
Overall I am happy with my final product. I received feedback from Key-workers saying that they work as intended and have helped to ‘Make every day a bit easier.
In the future, if I were to continue to iterate on this product I’d look into potential ways to mass-produce them, creating large batches for possible sale.