UI Engineers Rally To Develop New 3D-Printed Respirator Masks & Sterilization Station

University of Idaho engineers are developing a new 3D-printed respirator mask and a sterilization station to help fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Faculty in the UI College of Engineering are finalizing an improved design for a 3D-printed filtering facepiece respirator mask.  The engineers say the new design allows the wearer to breathe more easily and can be used with different filtration materials that are readily available.

Prototypes of the design have been sent to medical staff in the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley for validation.  UI faculty expect to finalize the design this week.  The college of engineering will then start working with 3D printing partners across Idaho and Washington to mass produce the masks for delivery to hospitals in need.  The UI has five 3D printers ready to go.

Community members with 3D printers will be able to produce the new respirators.  Anyone interested should email Cassidy Hall at cassidyh@uidaho.edu

The UI Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering is developing a mobile mask sterilization station that can clean several masks at once.  The college expects to have the plan ready this week.  It will allow community hospitals to build their own systems using materials available at any hardware store.