Essentium announced that it designed and is now producing a protective mask kit made from a reusable 3D printed mask frame and filtration media.
The Austin, Texas-based 3D printing company said in a news release last week that the first run of 500 masks are set to be delivered to the Pflugerville Police & Fire Dept. this week after an order from the Texas city. Last week, the company delivered 30 pilot units.
Essentium’s reusable mask frame is made from its Essentium TPU74D (thermoplastic urethane) designed for easy cleaning. The mask design is for general non-medical use during the COVID-19 pandemic, based on FDA emergency use authorization.
The company has made its design freely available through the National Institutes for Health (NIH) open-source model and anticipates its own production capacity to come in at 5,000 units per week.
“As well as our medical, police and emergency services, there is now an extended family of first responders such as grocery store workers, delivery personnel and refuse collectors who have stepped up to keep us safe in our homes,” Essentium co-founder & CEO Blake Teipel said in the release. “While Essentium cannot be a first responder, we can be a second-tier responder. Where the supply chain for PPE is faltering, we can and we have stepped in; and we can do it with speed, to approved design that can be delivered with reliable and repeatable quality, at scale.”