3d Printing to Help With the Covid-19 CoronaVirus Pandemic


It’s the second quarter of 2020 at the time of writing, and the world is in the grip of the Covid-19 CoronaVirus pandemic. It’s a rough time for most, and an utter disaster for many. There are many of us, though, that have 3d printers that we’d like to use to help our situation, and the situation of others in need.

Many health care workers don’t have enough Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to keep them safe. Some hospitals do have enough, but secondary facilities, like care clinics, nursing homes and other care providers are still having a tough time. In my city of Las Vegas, Nevada, I found an organization that’s 3d printing for local healthcare providers and decided to pitch in. 

To help out 3d printing in your community, find a local organization to coordinate with. Print face shield uppers as these are the best candidates for being useful for healthcare professionals. As that organization what they recommend to print. If they have no recommendation, try this: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4265542. The files are free and ready to use.

How To Help – Find An Organization

The organization I joined is larger than just Las Vegas, and encompasses all of the United States. It’s started by the fine folks at Prusa 3d Printers (a Czech company) and coordinates through the Slack application. Here’s a link:

If you’re outside of the United States, a google search will yield good results of organizations that you can help out with.

Another organization that has received good praise is Enabling the Future.Org. You can find them here:

They have resources to find locals that want to do the same as you (and likely already are), and files to print for useful items. Check them out. You could save a life! How great would that feel to make something on your 3d printer that helped others in your community. 

Thingiverse Has Lots of 3d Files That Can Help

Coronavirus / Flu Reusable Emergency Respiratory Mask

This frame, designed by dbeck, is good for your own use or use by your family. It’s designed to take some form of cloth mask material and create a frame to hold it. 

HEPA Covid Coronavirus Face Mask

Another mask that looks promising for personal or family use is this frame that can hold a hepa filter. Kvatthro designed this to use easily sourced filter material and 3d print the frame.

COVID-19 MASK v2 (Fast print, no support, filter required)

Iafactoria3d designed this mask to be smaller but similar in that you add your own filter to it. It fits snugly to the face and you attach elastic to hold the mask in place.

TXRX C19 Face Shield Uppers stacked 0.25 layer

This is a novel approach to a face shield. It is a simple strip with hanging bumps that allow you to hang an acetate sheet from it, and to attach an elastic so that you can wear it. The ingenious part is that it prints multiple units at the same time. You then split these apart after printing, to improve throughput.

More Personal and On the Lighter Side

Coronavirus primitiv model (2019-nCoV)

This little simplified model of a many-times-expanded virus is something you could print out for home to remind yourself just what we’re all fighting against. Sn4k3 did a nice job making a simple but effective little virus model.

COVID-19 Model

Pyae did a more realistic-looking model of the virus. I’d use it for levity, and not to remind me of our depressing situation. The smaller tines will make this model more difficult to print without breakage.

Savegrabber – Open Door Without Touching the Handle

This handy design by Coolioiglesias makes it so that when you do go out, you can pull or push a door or push an elevator button without having to actually do that with your hands. It comes with a handy attachment point for a lanyard or to attach to a keychain.

CoronaVirus Door Warning Sign

Acerbic has made a nice raised-letter door warning sign for those who have the infection. As you may know, having the virus does not necessarily mean that you show symptoms, or it could be that your symptoms are mild. That being said, warning your fellow mankind of the danger is a decent thing to do. It prints in only one color, so you’ll have to paint it to give it some contrast to make it easy to see.

Other Useful Websites For This Pandemic

The Centers For Disease Control (CDC) maintains a useful website for self-checking symptoms. It’s worth having a look, even if you’re currently symptom-free. It never hurts to understand what to look for and how to spot the virus in others.

Trying to find a cloth mask to buy is near-impossible these days, at least in my city. This website is a good way to make a homemade cloth mask that will work just fine for containing droplets. The best defense is for two people meeting to each have a mask. You have far less protection if you have a mask but the other person does not.

These are trying times, and you’ve heard that a lot if the pandemic is still raging in your area. We’re jealous of New Zealand for having conquered their outbreak and keeping it under control. Please stay safe and best of luck to you all! I’m hoping that even if none of these 3d printing items help you, it points you to somewhere that you can find what you need, or to someone or an organization that can help.

Related Questions

Can you clean 3d printed masks with rubbing alcohol?

Yes, PLA has very little, if not no reaction to Isopropyl Alcohol. You can 3d print personal protective equipment and then clean them for handing off to medical health professionals or to others who may need them.

Do medical professionals need 3d printed face shields?

Not all do, as there is still a lot being professionally produced. But there are those that do, and finding an organization that can coordinate donations of 3d printed face shields and/or masks is a good way to go. I found Prusa Face Shields on Slack https://app.slack.com/client/T010GGN22BW/D011QGNF4E4 and they had a coordinated effort in my city (which I’m participating in.)

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