3D printers shape up for Covid-19 fight

A small business has used its 3D printing technology to make custom-fit face masks to help in the battle against Covid-19.

Janos Lengyel, a director and part-owner at the firm, said that ordinary “one size fits all” face masks could become uncomfortable if worn for long periods.

But he explained that B3D’s technology meant that the product was tailored to the contours of customers’ faces.

Mr Lengyel, who runs the company with Stephan Johnstone, the marketing director and fellow part-owner, and Bryant Richards, another director, said: “The mask is actually made out of your face shape, so it will perfectly fit and be perfectly sealed — no air leakage.”

He explained: “People need to book an appointment and we do the 3D scanning on their face. From that 3D scan information, we create the mask.

“The face is not symmetrical; even if I’m doing myself, I can see a tiny difference between the left side and the right side.”

B3D started three years ago and creates plastic objects layer by layer.

Mr Lengyel added that the masks, which are sold with replacement filters, were easy to clean either in soapy water, with rubbing alcohol or even in a dishwasher.

He said that the masks were also see-through enough to see the mouths of people wearing them, which could help people who lip-read.

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