Closed due to COVID-19, Lake Area Technical Institute in Watertown, South Dakota, wanted to help support frontline workers by manufacturing a reusable soft rubber facemask with a removable filter that can be washed and cleaned.
Santoprene™ 210-88 and 101-88 thermoplastic rubber material for the facemasks
PLA biodegradable thermoplastic polymer material for the filters
Lake Area Technical Institute precision machining instructor Darrel Grohs, Garry Mudder, Mark Ralmsey and his students designed a two-cavity plastic injection mold for a reusable facemask. GibbsCAM reseller Midwest CAM Solutions helped program the mold core and cavity in GibbsCAM and Dakota Automation helped with the file transfer logistics and posting. They then used the mold to injection mold 2,400 facemasks (about two masks every 45 seconds); 3D printed the filters; and then donated the reusable, N95-capable facemasks to area first responders and then to others on a running list. They can manufacture more facemasks with the mold as needed.