First, please check out my other pandemic-related project, COVID Help Map. If you have a 3D printer, please consider creating a pin on COVID Help Map so people in need near you can connect with you. And/or, if you like the idea of COVID Help Map, please share it with your social networks.
I designed a few face-mask "frames" and received a lot of positive feedback. I continue to refine various designs. Instead of posting a list of links in a dozen different Facebook posts and replies, I made this page collecting them all in one place. You can download STL files from here and directly 3D print these designs. Some will work with most printers, while others require large build plates, dual extruders, and/or special filament material like TPU (a flexible material.) Please check requirements for each.
With all of the face mask frames here, you supply your own filter material. It's up to you to select and source the right material for you. They work well with an 8-inch square of fabric (in a diagonal/diamond orientation). There's a lot of info out there right now on which materials are most effective, some of it conflicting. Many common materials will only give you minimal protection against COVID-19. But something is better than nothing, and any face mask will help protect others from you, whether you're sick or not (since you can carry COVID-19 without symptoms.) Personally, I'm happy with a double layer of t-shirt material.
This one uses flexible (TPU) material for two unique features: 1. A flexible inner ring that should provide a better seal against the face, as well as better comfort. 2. Built-in adjustable straps. While I'm proud of the strap design and it works very well with TPU material, most people would probably be better off providing their own straps. (So there is a "strapless" version of this below.) If you have your own elastic material you can use for straps, even just rubber bands, that will often be a better solution. This design is best only for people who can't source their own straps. These TPU straps aren't the most comfortable over the ears. I don't mind it for my short trips to the store. But for extended use, you'd want to wrap the straps in something soft (possibly the same material you use for a filter) where they touch your ears (and I think that would work fine, but I haven't tested it yet.)
This requires a dual-extruder printer with a large build plate and TPU material (plus a stiff material; nylon is recommended but I have printed with tough PLA and it worked.) I use an Ultimaker S5. If you have any other printer, check carefully for compatibility.
In your slicer software, I recommend increasing the wall width to minimize diagonal infill with the TPU.
Version 1.0 has straps that are square in profile. These tend to print smoothly, but with sharp corners that can dig into the top of your ears over time. I experimented with rounded profiles in 1.2 before settling on an better, octogonal profile for version 1.3. This works best at higher resolution print settings. It can produce some small burrs, though, which can be almost as bad as the sharp corners. However you may be able to shave most of the burrs away, leaving a relatively rounded strap that's more comfortable over the ears.download STL files for version 1.0
This is exactly like the "Fancy" one, but without the elaborate TPU straps. You supply your own straps, whether it be narrow elastic material from a fabric store, rubber bands, or even string. It's probably the best option for most people, although it still has tricky requirements in terms of 3D printing.
It doesn't require as large of a build plate as the Fancy design, but it still requires a dual-extruder printer and TPU material (plus a stiff material; nylon is recommended but I have printed with tough PLA and it worked.)download STL files
This is the simplest one, that anyone with a 3D printer should be able to make. It prints very quickly. It's designed to print with common PLA filament material. It has a (relatively) gently-rounded shape where it touches the face, for comfort. It also has a half-ring at the top that you can fold fabric through, to make sure the fabric doesn't slip down, and to keep fabric out of your line of vision. The other designs have this feature as a natural by-product of the dual-ring design, but this single-ring design needed that added.
This one has no special printing requirements. PLA in a single-extruder printer with a small build plate should be no problem. (I actually started this design trying to make a TPU-only design, but it's terrible with TPU. Do not waste your TPU on this design; trust me. Fortunately, it works with PLA much better than I expected.)download STL file
This is my attempt at an "ear saver" that releives and distributes pressure from elastic bands that would otherwise hook around (and hurt) your ears. This is a popular and important device for those in the medical community working long hours. It's VERY easy to 3D print, and sterility issues might be a bit less cricital because it doesn't touch the face. (But I am not a doctor!)
Compared to other designs, it has a larger height, further reducing pressure of straps against ears. It's also thinner so it's more flexible, and it's fully reversible so either side can lay against the head. A slight curve lends itself to more comfortable positioning. And it's specifically designed to accomodate a ponytail in the middle.
It's designed to be printed with common PLA material. I'm using Ultimaker "Tough" PLA; I don't know for certain how "regular" PLA will work, but it should be fine for this purpose. The design is just 0.8mm thin, which not only prints quickly, but provides the flexibility that's crucial to any "ear saver" working well.
Version 1.1 is a little longer so as not to stretch the elastic so much, but it still fits into a "snack" size ziploc bag for easy sealing to keep sterile. It's also concave at the ends, the idea being that it might fit better around the ears of someone with a smaller head.download STL file for version 1.0 (small)
Finally, again, please check out my other pandemic-related project, COVID Help Map. If you have a 3D printer, please consider creating a pin on COVID Help Map so people in need near you can connect with you. And/or, if you like the idea of COVID Help Map, please share it with your social networks.