Our friends at Polish 3D printing media portal CentrumDruku3D reported on the story of – and introduced us – to Przemysław Stachura, who came up with the design of a 3D printed adapter for DAR filter to transform a 3M mask into a special type of PPE. The model [available here to download] quickly caught the attention of paramedics in Poland and other nations, who expressed a desire to test and use it
The reason for producing this adapter is that the certified and compatible filters to the 3M masks are now out of stock. Therefore, there was a need to create a quick solution to ensure safety for paramedics, who work in the field and have direct contact with potentially infected people. To help meet demand, Przemysław created an online list that can be accessed by both those looking for adapters and those who can produce them.
Paramedics have mostly been using universal masks, on which they applied filters to protect against infectious diseases. These filters are manufactured by the same mask manufacturers and adhere to specific guidelines. In the current situation related to COVID-19, filters have become scarce (or very expensive), while masks are generally available. At the same time, DAR filters are still available as they are typically used on the inspiratory and expiratory ports of ventilators.
Łukasz Jackowiak, a paramedic from the Wolski Hospital in Warsaw, came up with the idea to create an adapter that would allow to combine available masks with available DAR filters. “Hearing that that 3D printing was used in the production of various missing medical components in Italy, he contacted me as a specialist in 3D printing. The model was successfully designed and 3D printed in just a few hours,” Stachura revealed
Masks are used by paramedics who go to patients who are potentially infected. Standard PPE masks do not sufficiently protect them against the virus, so the use of masks that adhere perfectly to the face is crucial. This solution has been used for two days with no known issues, although it is not yet clear how long it can be used for. Nevertheless, the main focus now is the protection of medics.
The mask has so far been tested and validated to determine whether the design of the adapter blocks the airflow in any way and whether it is difficult to breathe through it. All tests carried out at the Wolski Hospital by the paramedics were successful. Their whole team is already using this set in the field.
Mask types, there are a lot to use. Currently, adapters are designed compatible with two types of masks (one for all 3M masks shown above, and the other for the Decathlon snorkling mask. However, doctors from all over Poland come with other types, asking for the design of an appropriate adapter. That is why we have created a list, on which people with printers can also indicate their readiness to prepare new types of adapters, in order to precisely match the element to the mask. Three new projects will appear soon.
Download the STL here.