Frequently asked questions
What is MyMask Movement?
MyMask Movement is social enterprise with a 501(c)(3) foundation built by volunteers dedicated to addressing the shortage of face masks by creating a virtual supply chain powered by 3D scanning, generative design, and digital manufacturing. Our mission is to save as many lives, as quickly as possible, by protecting front line workers. Founded in March 2020, our international group of volunteers has backgrounds ranging across 3D modeling, computer vision, engineering, medicine, computational fluid dynamic modeling, and more.
Does MyMask Movement make masks?
We are collaborating with numerous global generative design and additive manufacturing experts to produce masks using the personalized facial scans created by our iPhone app. Currently, we are in the process of providing masks to priority healthcare workers who are in the highest risk of exposure to COVID-19.
What does MyMask Movement do?
We have developed a free iPhone app that utilizes Apple's Face ID depth sensing technology, found in iPhone X and later models. The app will create a facial scan that can be sent to 3D printers to create a personalized, custom-fit face mask.
Where are these masks produced?
We have developed a robust supply chain with 3D printing manufacturers scattered throughout the United States in order to bring our proprietary technology to market. The manufacturers we currently collaborate with include AVID PD, Fathom, Forecast 3D, Forerunner, and Qualified3D. These 3D printing operations are located in the Bay Area, San Diego, Colorado, and Michigan, respectively. MyMask Movement’s long-term goal is to
expand localized printing capabilities to every major region within the US healthcare space.
If I donate, what does the money contribute to?
MyMask Movement is working to save as many lives as fast as possible, starting with the most impacted communities – healthcare workers, frontline workers, and the elderly. Your donation will help us provide masks to hospitals, retirement homes, and research institutes as far as Kenya.
Is my donation tax deductible?
Yes, we are a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. We will send a donor letter at the end of the year.
Where are you based?
Our headquarters are in Stanford, California, but our remote team of over 100 volunteers spans across the globe.
How are you funded?
Our operations are only possible through the support of our corporate sponsors' and the JJJ Foundation's support. If you're interested in donating, you can find the donation link here or at the top right of our website.
How does the technology work?
Using Apple's facial recognition technology, we have redirected its use to creating precise 3D scans of the user's face to create a form fitting mask. All it takes is an iPhone X or higher model, our free mobile application, and yourself.
Why is there still a shortage of masks?
The demand for PPE has only increased since the beginning of the pandemic, especially as all medical workers return. When the pandemic and PPE shortage first began, there was a 4-6 month backlog in the supply chain. While PPE manufacturers scramble to keep up with the demand, the pandemic only worsened, and the US is reaching new peaks everyday.
Why can’t we just make more N95 machines?
Mask machines take 6 months to manufacture and cost upwards of 5 million dollars with multi-year payback periods. The just-in-time nature of the supply and demand market dynamics of the N95 market makes shortages an inevitable market reality during times of crises and shocks to the demand curve (i.e., pandemics, forest fires, etc.).
Why can’t we just injection mold these masks?
Injection molding these masks would lead to mass produced, ill-fitting masks. One size does not fit all, and we want to individually manufacture each mask to fit you. We don’t just want to break the mold; we want to make the mold extinct.
But what about so-and-so 3D printed mask?
M3 masks are printed on industrial grade HP MultiJet Fusion Printers (4200 Series) at industrial scale. These printers create a complex lattice of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), blocking microscopic particles from penetrating through the mask and only allowing the flow of air through the filter. Masks printed on homebrew machines can be porous, impossible to sterilize, and even toxic for human use.
Unlike other common materials used for 3D printing, we use ESTANE® 3D TPU M95A-545, which is capable of withstanding high temperatures and can be repeatedly sterilized in an autoclave or other sterilization methods. You can sanitize and reuse the mask for up to 6 months.
How is this different than so-and-so custom-fitted mask?
High Accuracy, High Precision 3D Scanning. We use a multitude of advanced 3D sensing modalities, including structured light, structure from motion, and photogrammetry enhanced with photometric sensing techniques. We are able to produce consistently high-precision and high accuracy 3D scans that are simply impossible with any other mobile-based technique in use, especially around the nose bridge and chin.
Generative Design. Our highly accurate and precise 3D scans enable us to produce superior inputs for our generative design algorithms that create a perfectly fitting mask unique to each individual user. We first apply a sizing algorithm and then we apply morphing algorithms to achieve this.
Extensive Testing & Validation. We have invested heavily in the testing, calibration, and validation of our technology across a wide set of users, which we have done in partnership with Health Canada. This is also why we are pursuing full FDA approval with the goal of becoming the first and only FDA approved 3D printed mask and also the first and only FDA approved custom fitted mask.
Supply Chain. We have also invested significant time and resources into establishing supplier relationships (including minimum volume commitments) and a decentralized network of additive manufacturing partners that enable us to produce the masks we design at consistently high and uniform quality.
Aren’t 3D printed masks dangerous because you can’t sterilize them?
Some 3D printed masks cannot be sterilized because the material cannot withstand repeated cycles of high temperatures and moisture. These face masks are manufactured with industrial grade TPU, a material capable of withstanding repeated cycles of high temperatures and moisture.
I’m a healthcare worker, how do I get a mask?
You will need access to an iPhone X or later model to be able to create a personalized facial scan. Please contact us at Jesse@mymaskmovement.org
I’m not a healthcare worker, how do I get a mask?
We are currently prioritizing front line medical workers, but hope to scale our operations so we can protect other at-risk individuals. You will need access to an iPhone X or later model to be able to create a personalized facial scan. Please contact us at Jesse@mymaskmovement.org
Can these face masks replace current medical face masks like N95s?
We are trying to address the critical shortage of face masks that medical professionals and other high-risk individuals are facing. MyMask Movement offers a filter agnostic mask, meaning it can be paired with any available filter, but none should be considered N95 equivalents.
What material is used to make the mask?
Our masks are made of biocompatible TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) that is capable of withstanding multiple cycles in an autoclave and even your dishwasher at home.
Is the mask reusable? If so, how long can I use it for?
The mask is reusable, but filters and elastics should be replaced when deemed necessary. We recommend getting a new mask after 6 months, as the human face changes over time, and the fit may no longer be sufficient.
How have you tested this?
We are currently testing our masks to meet FDA and NIOSH N95 respirator surgical mask standards.
Is this mask FDA or NIOSH certified?
MyMask was developed during the COVID-19 pandemic to relieve the ongoing PPE shortage. We are working with the FDA to be authorized for use under Emergency Use Authorization in times of medical crises. Also, we are looking to obtain FDA and NIOSH approval by the end of summer.
How do I assemble, wear, and sterilize the mask?
Please reference this PDF for further instructions on assembly, wear, and sterilization.
How well does the mask fit? Is it airtight?
With our facial scanning technology, we are making personalized masks only meant for you. This creates an airtight seal around the nose bridge, face, and chin, so air particles only enter through the filter area.
Why is fit so important? Why should I care about it?
Fit determines how well your mask creates a seal around your face, especially the nose bridge and chin area. Without an airtight seal, air particles can enter and leave when you inhale and exhale, putting yourself and others around you at risk. This why we created personalized masks to ensure an airtight seal for maximized protection.
Is it hard to breathe in?
Not more so than a regular N95. Our team members have worn this out for hours and have had no problem breathing. Surgeons have worn these masks in the operating room for up to 5 hours with no problems breathing.
How does sizing work? Am I a small, medium, or large?
There’s an infinite number of sizes, because each person has a unique size. No two masks are the same, and your mask will only fit you.
Can I autoclave it?
Yes, TPU is capable of withstanding high temperatures, so it is autoclave-safe!
I don’t have access to a proper sterilization equipment, how can I sterilize it?
You can sterilize your masks using soap and warm water, and the masks are also dishwasher safe. Please refer to the CDC website for further instructions and recommendation on mask sterilization.
Can I print this mask at home?
While we give the option to export the .STL file, printing these masks at home is not recommended. We use industrial grade 3D printers that create an impenetrable barrier to air particles that standard 3D printers cannot create. We cannot guarantee the quality of the masks if you print it at home.
Can I get a mask for my child?
We are still validating our mask and its effectiveness with children. That said, we have developed a scaling algorithm that scales the mask size up and down based on each individual’s user face.
I don’t like the straps, what can I do?
We’ve designed our mask to be strap agnostic. You can swap out the supplied straps for any strap with a width of ⅝” or less.