Challenge Yields Mask Designs that Demonstrate Considerable Fit Improvements
Youngstown, Ohio — May 12, 2020. America Makes, in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), proudly announces the top designs of the Fit to Face—Mask Design Challenge, a rapid response challenge to support the ongoing shortage of safe and effective personal protective equipment (PPE) for COVID-19 frontline workers.
“Through our ongoing collaborations with VA, FDA, and NIH, America Makes has facilitated entry paths for the AM community to engage and address PPE supply chain gaps during this crisis,” said America Makes Executive Director John Wilczynski. “With the Fit to Face Challenge, participants leveraged leading Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM) principles under a compressed timeframe to advance designs that demonstrated considerable improvement of mask fit characteristics. It truly showed the remarkable innovative nature of the additive community.”
Fit to Face Challenge participants were tasked with primarily optimizing a face mask’s continuous fit-to-face contact for a wide range of face types. Five digital headform datasets were shared by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to assist participants in crafting submissions. Other challenge criteria included instructions for use, manufacturability, assembly, and manufacturing instructions. Top design submissions were also fast-tracked through the VA, FDA, and NIH testing and evaluation process.
“Judging the Fit to Face Challenge designs was difficult as the submissions were all very good,” added America Makes Technology Director Brandon Ribic, Ph.D. “It was clear that designers spent significant time developing these masks to meet each of the challenge criteria. We thank our guest reviewers Autodesk, ASME, and Siemens and all the participants and congratulate the top design teams for their efforts. We also want to encourage them to further refine their designs to address the testing evaluation findings regarding some secondary criteria.”
The teams for top designs, as well as honorable mention, of the Fit to Face—Mask Design Challenge are (not listed in any particular order):
- Alliance PCB Solutions, LLC: Vader Small
- Carnegie Mellon University: Moldable Mask Small and Moldable Mask Large
- National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST): Every Mask
- Re:3D Inc.: Flex Fit Small and Flex Fit Large
These designs will be showcased on both the America Makes and the NIH 3D Print Exchange websites.
About America Makes
Driven by the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM), America Makes is the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute. As the national accelerator for additive manufacturing (AM) based in Youngstown, Ohio, America Makes is the nation’s leading and collaborative partner in AM and 3DP technology research, discovery, creation, and innovation. Comprised of member organizations from industry, academia, government, non-government agencies, and workforce and economic development resources, the America Makes membership community is working together to innovate and accelerate AM to increase our nation’s global manufacturing competitiveness. America Makes is the first of eight Manufacturing Innovation Institutes established and program managed by the U.S. Department of Defense as public-private partnerships. America Makes is also a member of the Manufacturing USA® network, which seeks to secure U.S. global leadership in advanced manufacturing. For more information about America Makes, visit americamakes.us and follow @AmericaMakes on Twitter.
NCDMM delivers innovative and collaborative manufacturing solutions that enhance our nation’s workforce and economic competitiveness. NCDMM has extensive knowledge and depth in manufacturing areas—both commercial and defense—to continually innovate, improve, and advance manufacturing technologies and methodologies. Our experienced team specializes in identifying the needs, the players, the technologies, and processes to attain optimal solutions for our customers. We connect the dots. That’s the NCDMM methodology. NCDMM also manages the national accelerator for additive manufacturing (AM) and 3D printing (3DP), America Makes—the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute. For additional information, visit the NCDMM at ncdmm.org and follow @NCDMMnews on Twitter.
About the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is a federal Cabinet-level agency that provides near-comprehensive healthcare services to eligible military veterans at VA medical centers and outpatient clinics located throughout the country; several non-healthcare benefits including disability compensation, vocational rehabilitation, education assistance, home loans, and life insurance; and provides burial and memorial benefits to eligible veterans and family members at 135 national cemeteries. Learn more about the VA and its mission at va.gov.