Essentium, led by the company’s COVID-19 Response Strategy Team, has been investigating how to best mobilise its resources and significant IP in materials and additive manufacturing production to aid in the fight against COVID-19. The company today announced that it has designed, and is now in production of, a protective mask kit comprising a reusable 3D printed mask frame and filtration media.

The first run of 500 masks will be delivered to the Pflugerville Police and Fire Department next week following an order from the City of Pflugerville’s Pflugerville Community Development Corp. Thirty pilot units were delivered this week. As Essentium redirects resources to the production of this Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), it anticipates initial production capacity to be 5,000 units per week.

“The concept of a first responder changed overnight for our nation,” Blake Teipel, CEO and Co-founder, Essentium, said. “As well as our medical, police and emergency services, there is now an extended family of first responders such as grocery store workers, delivery personnel and refuse collectors who have stepped up to keep us safe in our homes. I am humbled by their dedication.

While Essentium cannot be a first responder, we can be a second-tier responder. Where the supply chain for PPE is faltering, we can and we have stepped in; and we can do it with speed, to approved design that can be delivered with reliable and repeatable quality, at scale.”

The Essentium reusable mask frame is made with material known as Essentium TPU74D (thermoplastic urethane) which allows for easy cleaning, and is used with a single-use, replaceable filtration media. The Essentium mask has been created for general non-medical use during COVID-19 epidemic, based on FDA Emergency Use Authorisation. The company has made the design of the mask freely available through the National Institute of Health (NIH) open source model.