UC students make app that prints custom face masks

Engineering students develop tech that scans your face for the perfect fit

Face masks are a daily part of life a year into the COVID-19 pandemic. But it seems no two masks are the same.

And the same mask can fit people differently and often poorly. 

Students at the University of Cincinnati have come up with a novel solution they think could help keep people safer from infection around the world. They are making a phone app that can scan your face to a 3D printer to build your own custom face mask.

A filter snaps into the front of the form-fitting plastic mask, ensuring a leak-proof seal, particularly around the cheeks and nose where air sometimes can escape from cloth masks.

“Most masks are one-size-fits-all, but they might not fit as well for some as others,” said Sam Anand, professor of mechanical engineering in UC’s College of Engineering and Applied Science.

The project demonstrates UC’s commitment to research as described in its strategic direction called Next Lives Here.