Problem Statement:

At the onset of COVID-19 pandemic most of the global stock of PPE supplies, such as face masks, quickly depleted and soon a shortage began. At the beginning of March 2020, surgical masks were hardly available in the lower mainland.

Normally a surgical mask can be worn for no more than four consecutive hours to work properly. For medical staff, a new surgical mask has to be worn every time they visit a new patient.

The excessive usage and the short lived nature of a surgical mask means supplies can run out quickly and the amount of waste will increase very quickly and become landfill.


The goal of this product was to simply extend the longevity of usage time of a single surgical mask by 6 folds, thus reducing waste and landfill.


The solution is a reusable 3D printable face mask that uses 1/6 of a standard surgical mask as the filter.

Advantages of this design are:

  • Increasing the usage of one mask and reducing landfill
  • Complete seal around the nose and mouth (a surgical mask alone does not completely seal around the nose and mouth)
  • Biodegradable material (PLA) for printing (PLA uses corn starch)

The mask should be disinfected thoroughly after every use with 70% alcohol and the filter changed to a new piece of 1/6 surgical mask.