Coronavirus: Italian 3D printers convert a snorkelling mask into a respirator.


After the 3D printed respiratory valves discussed in another of our posts, an Italian company specialized in 3D printing, has found a way to convert a scuba diving mask into a respirator.

The idea initially flashed to a doctor, became a prototype in seven days, and named “Charlotte Valve”.

The company relaizing it says: «We contacted a well-known sports apparel company, and in a short time, as the creator, manufacturer, and distributor of the Easybreath snorkeling mask, the company immediately became available to collaborate by providing the CAD drawing of the mask we had identified. The product was dismantled, studied, and the changes to be made were evaluated. The new component for the connection to the respirator was then designed and printed in a short time via 3D printing. The prototype as a whole has been tested on one of our colleagues directly at the Chiari Hospital, hooking it to the respirator body, and has proven to be correctly working. “

The mask can be connected directly to oxygen via the wall socket and is useful in emergency rooms, where patients remain for three days waiting for a bed.

They continue: «Anyone can print it for free, provided it is not used for commercial purposes». The Charlotte valve has in fact been patented to avoid any speculation on the price of the component. Still, this patent will remain free to use because the goal is that all hospitals in need can take advantage of it. The company decided to freely share the file for the realization of the fitting in 3D printing.

However, it should be noted that neither the mask nor the valve connection is certified and their use is subject to a situation of mandatory necessity.

The mechatronics technologies at the basis of such implementation are a clear demonstration of how important they are not only in emergency situations like these but in our everyday life and for a myriad of industrial applications and products.



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