The “day 4” mask design consists of a silicone gasket that goes up against the user’s face (top), a thermoformed body, the filter and the cap.
Jansson’s team produced a “pillowy” gasket, experimenting with various hard and soft silicone (in jugs at rear) and a vacuum chamber (at left) to mix the silicone. The blue pieces are 3D-printed molds.
These pieces represent what Jansson calls “iterations,” a collection of first ideas, many of which didn’t make the cut. Not shown are samples from the filtration material, everything from coffee filters to medical-grade fabric to furnace filters cut into discs.
Jansson shows how their prototype mask is worn. The team already has obtained feedback on the material of the gasket, mask shape, and its straps, filter, the means of adjusting the fit.
“A lot of people see a final prototype and think – huh, that’s so simple,” Jansson said. “What people don’t see are the dozens of materials, failures, molds/tools and the evolution it takes. We’d clean up this long table in the Prototyping Center each day, and by the next day, it would look like this again.”
The RoddyMedical TogetherMask has a replaceable FDA-approved filter and conforms to differently shaped faces. Its see-through front allows patients to see their caregivers' smiles.
Kyle Jansson, director of the UWM Prototyping Center at Innovation Campus in Wauwatosa, is involved in a Milwaukee area coalition of industry, academia and health care to transform an industrial N95 respirator mask into a reusable proxy for medical workers and first responders. Jansson has documented the two-week journey so far with these images.