3D Printed Sustainable Respirator Valves

The University of Pittsburgh and ExOne developed 3D printed metal filters designed specifically for respirator cartridges. The unique element of this effort is that sustainability was also a priority. The filter is reusable and can provide long-term protection against COVID-19.


“ExOne’s binder jetting technology is a high-speed form of 3D printing that can produce metal parts with specific porosity levels that can effectively filter out contaminants while allowing airflow. ExOne has 3D printed respirator filters in two metals — copper and 316L stainless steel — and a range of porosity levels for use inside a unique cartridge designed by the Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science department in Pitt’s Swanson School of Engineering. Initial testing for airflow and filtration efficiency is currently underway, and the filters are being optimized with the goal of adhering to an N95 respirator standard.”

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