I've been experimenting with a couple improvements to the original mask profile posted by Eric. The three areas of improvement that I've identified are 1) reducing the time it takes to fold the mask, 2) improving the seal against the nose bridge, and 3) further reinforcement of the ear strap grommets.
- The template file attached includes a 3D-printable pin plate which will pre-crease the mask material with all the mountain/valley folds in one step, greatly reducing the time it takes to fold the oragami mask. Further time studies are necassary, but I was able to take the fold time down from 3min to about 45 seconds on the first trial with the new press template. A couple caviats:
- The press template requires a 3D printer to manufacturer and therefore would be more suitable for an assemly line-style workflow. If you're makine less than 100x masks, probably better to just fold them up by hand.
- The press itself requires lots of even pressure to adequately crease the mask material. I used a T-shirt press, picture attached, which provides a pretty large mechanical advantage to crease the material.
- I've only printed 1/2 of the press template, further trials will be done when the other 1/2 is complete
- The file I've made is designed for a Markforged desktop-size printer. If you have a printer with a larger print area, consider printing the two halves of the press without the puzzle split for better press performance.
- The nose bridge fold is meant to be done by the user of the mask immediately before donning the mask. If the bridge is pre-folded and the mask is then stored flat in a package, the gasket will crease and it's effectiveness will be geatly diminished.
- Please feel free to experiment with alternate bridge profiles as this one was only designed to fit my big nose. A smaller nose or flatter bridge would not necessarily benefit from this improvement and the original bridge profile might be better.
- One thought is that the bridge can either remain unfolded or be folded over by the user depending on their face geometry. Therefore, one pattern can be used for multiple people in an organization without the need to select a particular mask based on it's cut pattern.
- The shifted holes for the ear-strap rubber bands in this new model are experimental and not necessarily better than the original hole locations. I was attempting to pull against more mask material, thus improving the tear out strength of the holes, but there may be fit issues with the new pattern that create additional gaps against the cheek.
- If you cut this new pattern to test, it would be appreciated if you could give feedback on this change and if there is an even better approach.
If you have any questions regarding the new files, please respond to this post and I will reply as quickly as possible